Veterans groups wonder if marijuana will help treat PTSD

American Legion asking Congress to amend pot laws
Posted at 7:05 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 19:08:55-04

After two tours in Afghanistan, Marine Christopher Roberts has trouble adjusting to life after war.

“A big part of the problem is coming home and losing your sense of purpose and you don’t really know what to do with yourself,” he said.

It took a while, but Roberts is finding his way and getting help at The Veteran’s Alternative Center in Holiday.

“It’s nice to be able to meet with someone and speak with people that share similar experiences. They do a lot of good things here,” he said.

That includes alternative to opiates like yoga and accelerated resolution therapy.

But the center’s founder Brian Anderson, a former Green Beret, also thinks medical marijuana should be looked at.

“It’s not necessarily something I’m for recreational use. But the reality is, if there’s something that can help a warrior go through the difficulties they are facing. Then I’m all for it,” said Anderson.

Anderson was pleased to see the American Legion recently come out for the first time, asking Congress to “at a minimum recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value”.

Some experts worry pot would just mask symptoms and not treat them.

But a recent survey found 68% of combat veterans support medical marijuana legalization.

Even more want the VA allow it to be used as a treatment option.

“I’ve had friends tell me that it’s a more milder approach to treating their anxiety and their depression,” said Roberts.

Colorado researchers are planning a new study to see if marijuana can help PTSD, but that testing will take two years.