OUR MISSION: The mission of alaskatrim4vets is to help reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose. We provide Veterans with the knowledge and resources necessary for veterans to grow and or obtain medical marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions.
T4V will attempt to raise the publics awareness by requesting aid and support, ensuring that all disabled and injured Veterans receive the respect and dignity they deserve regardless of their choice to use marijuana for debilitating pain and or other disorders.
T4V WILL provide Veterans with unique products and services designed to assist in living with injuries sustained while protecting our freedom. alaskatrim4vets is a small, nonpartisan organization based in Alaska.
Why Medical Cannabis?
An ever increasing number of medical studies have shown that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for pain, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) , and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Despite this fact, some people maintain the belief that marijuana is nothing more than a dangerous drug. However, numerous recent polls indicate that well over 80% of all Americans support the use of medical marijuana. Other polls indicate that more than 50% of Americans now support full legalization and almost the same number support banning tobacco products.
Regardless of their personal position on the use marijuana for medical purposes, there is virtually universal agreement that our Veterans deserve to have any and all treatment options available to them. Medical marijuana has allowed thousands of Veterans to either reduce, or completely discontinue the use of dangerous prescription medications as I have personally discovered.
A Brief History of Criminalized Cannabis
Archaic misperceptions of marijuana as a drug that presents a danger on par with heroin makes our mission of helping Veterans a unique challenge. Many beliefs about the evils of marijuana are rooted in ill-conceived actions taken by the U.S. government.
Most people are familiar with the 1930’s American propaganda exploitation film, “Reefer Madness,” which revolves around the melodramatic events that ensue when high school students are lured by pushers into trying marijuana. The film depicts marijuana smokers being involved in a hit and run accident, manslaughter, suicide, attempted rape, and a descent into utter madness.
At a loss for how to deal with significant numbers of military personnel turning to heroin to numb the mental anguish of combat during the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration decided to create a smoke screen to hide their ineptitude, by mounting an all out war on marijuana. As a result, marijuana became a schedule 1 drug. In addition to marijuana, heroin, LSD and ecstasy are schedule I substances.
To receive schedule 1 classification, the drug or other substance must pose a high potential for abuse. In addition, the drug or substance can have no accepted medical use. The fact of the matter is that the addiction rate for marijuana is the same as it is for caffeine, just 9 percent. The addiction rate for alcohol is 15 percent; for cocaine it’s 17 percent; for heroin it’s 23%; and for tobacco it is an astounding 32%.
Marijuana really is the best medicine, as new research finds that the most people currently enrolled in medical marijuana programs are using weed as an alternative to dangerous substances like booze, prescription drugs, and other junkie favorites from the worldwide street apothecary.
A group of researchers from the United States and Canada recently published data in the October edition of Addiction Research and Theory that serves to evaluate just how much of an impact the insurgence of medical marijuana use over the past several years has had on the use of legal and illegal drugs.
What they found was that out of the 404 medical marijuana patients surveyed, nearly 68% said that they use marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs, while over 41% admitted that weed has become a replacement for alcohol. What’s more is that just over 36% report that the availability of medical marijuana has become their safe haven away from other common street drugs.
The three primary reasons study participants gave for choosing marijuana over their past vices were “less withdrawal,” “fewer side effects,” and “better symptom management.” This finding leads researchers to believe that many patients are now fully aware that marijuana can fit into their medicated lives more effectively than a liver quivering prescription pill or booze regimen.
Interestingly, the survey indicates that the majority of the study participants — 75.5% — say they now use marijuana as a substitute for at least one other drug.
It concluded: “While some studies have found that a small percentage of the general population that uses cannabis may develop a dependence on this substance, a growing body of research on cannabis-related substitution suggests that for many patients cannabis is not only an effective medicine, but also a potential exit drug to problematic substance use. Given the credible biological, social and psychological mechanisms behind these results, and the associated potential to decrease personal suffering and the personal and social costs associated with addiction, further research appears to be justified on both economic and ethical grounds. Clinical trials with those who have had poor outcomes with conventional psychological or pharmacological addiction therapies could be a good starting point to further our understanding of cannabis-based substitution effect.”
A such, we believe that marijuana does not deserve schedule 1 categorization. Marijuana has been proven to have medical benefits for pain as well as for a number of diseases such as cancer, depression, HIV, PTSD, TBI and many more. A recent study at Louisiana State University showed that THC actually slowed the spread of the HIV virus in lab animals. To date, nearly one-half of the states have approved the use of medical marijuana. Many more states will soon follow.
In terms of danger, no marijuana related deaths have been reported, while tobacco and alcohol are responsible for the deaths of 500,000 people annually. It is estimated that the average person would have to ingest 1,500 pounds of marijuana within 15 minutes to reach a fatal level.
While the current trend is moving in a positive direction, most physicians are still reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana for their patients. Recent directives issued by the Veteran’s Administration have provided physicians with minimal latitude in allowing their Veteran patients to use medical marijuana in conjunction with the treatment being provided by the VA. However, VA physicians are still not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana to Veterans. This prohibition is directly tied to the unwillingness of the U.S. Government to accept reality. It is our position that this attitude reflects a callus disregard for the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of the brave men and women who have made incredible sacrifices to protect the freedom we love.