Action Alert: Tell Lawmakers Veterans Need Cannabis for PTSD

Please Copy, Paste, and email to the NC Senator and Representative(s) in your county

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Dear Sen. or Rep. [insert their names],

I am reaching out to you today to talk about our Veterans, specifically those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); an often chronic condition for which currently available medications have limited efficacy or can even make symptoms worse. Cannabis has been found to be extremely effective for sufferers of PTSD providing immediate and lasting relief that other medications don’t provide for Veterans.

Several studies show cannabis has proven medicinal properties, including relieving post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and in 20 of the 36 states that have legalized medical marijuana, doctors can recommend cannabis for PTSD. Currently, North Carolina is not one of those states and unfortunately, cannabis has not been legalized at the federal level. This means those who may need it most can’t get a prescription for it. In that category fall the brave Americans who have served our country as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

Many Veterans suffer physical and emotional traumas. These traumas may be relieved by a treatment course that includes medical marijuana.  Some quick points to consider:

  • Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than non-military citizens.
  • Veteran suicides from 2007 to 2017 increased by 50% because of veteran mental health disorders.
  • More than 60,000 veterans died from suicide from 2007 to 2017 ten-year span.

Below are a few excerpts (and associated links) from reputable institutions to articles that further breakdown the benefits that Cannabis has in the treatment (and healing) of PTSD. 

  • A study reported in Neuropsychopharmacology provides preliminary epidemiological evidence that “cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.” SOURCE:
  • A summary of a focus group discussion in European Neuropsychopharmacology found that “some patients used strains with a high percentage of THC and a low percentage of CBD reported benefiting from the use of these strains without experiencing any significant side effects. Regardless of the strain patients were using, most of them agreed that treatment should be individualized. They believed that if one strain does not have optimal effects or induces certain adverse effects, another strain should be tried.” Patients used medical cannabis to manage their symptoms and did not experience an urge to “get high.” SOURCE:
  • NYU Langone Medical Center researchers discovered a connection between the quantity of cannabinoid receptors in the human brain, known as CB1 receptors, and post-traumatic stress disorder, the chronic, disabling condition with flashbacks, nightmares and emotional instability. “Among the 1.7 million men and women who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an estimated 20% have PTSD. But PTSD is not limited to soldiers.” Trauma from sexual abuse, domestic violence, car accidents, natural disaster, violent assault or even a life-threatening medical diagnosis can lead to PTSD. The condition affects nearly 8 million Americans annually. SOURCE: 
  • The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health conducted a systematic review including three studies evaluating nabilone, a synthetic form of cannabis. “One cross-over evaluation over 16 weeks reported significant improvement in nightmares, the Clinical Global Impressions score, and well-being as measured by the General Well-Being Questionnaire. One of two retrospective chart reviews reported a significant decrease in nightmares, a significant increase in hours of sleep, and in Global Assessment of Functioning scores. In the remaining retrospective chart review, 72% of participants reported a cessation of nightmares or reduction in nightmare intensity, a subjective improvement in sleep time and quality, and a reduction in daytime flashbacks and night sweats.” SOURCE:
  • Psychopharmacology reported on preliminary epidemiological evidence which found that “cannabis use may contribute to reducing the association between post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depressive and suicidal states.” SOURCE:
  • According to the Yale Journal Biology and Medicine, “One of the most clinically relevant findings from this depression study was the widely experienced relief from depression within 2 hours or less” after smoking cannabis. Traditional antidepressant effectiveness often takes weeks. “Given the significant costs to our society from depression, the research herein offers hope for new avenues of treatment.” SOURCE:

Medical Cannabis is available to a majority of Americans but North Carolinians don’t have equal liberty or access to it. To make matters worse, although decriminalized to some extent, cannabis in the state is still considered highly illegal, (growing even a single plant for personal use is a felony). This puts many Veterans and other North Carolinians, suffering from PTSD, in a position of having to choose between committing a crime or using a safe, natural, and effective form of therapy to combat suicide and treat their own mental health. Our Veterans have answered the Nation’s call to service, many during a period of active armed conflict or war. They shouldn’t have to risk all of the negative impacts that come with a criminal conviction in order to treat mental and physical injuries that resulted from defending our Nation.


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