An overwhelming majority of U.S. military veterans threw their support behind medical marijuana research and legalization in a new survey.
The American Legion survey quizzed veterans and their caregivers in early October. The majority of cannabis-using veterans included in the survey were over the age of 60. The results showed that 81 percent of vets and 83 percent of caregivers support the federal legalization of cannabis for medical purposes.
“We already know that greater than 80 percent of the American public supports research into the efficacy of medical cannabis,” Joe Plenzler of the American Legion, told The Cannabist.
“What this survey shows is that America’s veterans feel even more strongly about the need to study cannabis and its potential in treating PTSD, chronic pain and other ailments veterans face every day.”
America’s largest veterans service organization has not been shy in its support of cannabis law reform over the last few months. The organization has both demanded the rescheduling of cannabis in the interest of researching its efficacy for chronic pain and PTSD, and more recently, called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support the completion of a clinical study on cannabis as a treatment for PTSD.
This new survey included 1,360 respondents, 802 of which identified as either a military veteran (513) or a non-professional veteran caregiver (289). Sixty percent of the respondents live in states without legal medical marijuana.
Among the key findings: 92 percent of all respondents support medical research, while 82 percent support medical marijuana legalization. Moreover, 81 percent of veterans surveyed support federal legalization of cannabis for physical or mental conditions, while that number is slightly higher (83 percent) among caregivers.
It’s “clear” from these findings that veterans are accessing cannabis in states with or without legal cannabis programs, say the study’s authors. One in five veterans currently use cannabis for a health condition, they note.
h/t The Cannabist