Editor’s notice: This text is supplied by the Medical Marijuana Training and Analysis Initiative (MMERI) of Florida A&M College.
Retired U.S. Air Pressure (US- AF) nurse Cherissa Jackson could have survived three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the place she witnessed the human toll of struggle, however years later she continues to be engaged in a battle that haunts her and a whole bunch of 1000’s of different fight veterans.
Jackson’s experiences with treating wounded troopers left her with the invisible scars of post-traumatic stress dysfunction, or PTSD. It’s a critical psychological well being sickness that Jackson believes stricken vets ought to be capable of counterattack with medical marijuana supplied by way of the Veterans Affairs’ healthcare system, an choice that’s prohibited as a result of marijuana, no matter its use, is prohibited beneath federal regulation.
However she is just not taking over this marketing campaign alone; Jackson is the chief medical govt for AM- VETS’ HEAL (Healthcare, Evaluations, Advocacy and Laws) program, a number one proponent of medical marijuana as an efficient remedy for vets with PTSD and different persistent well being circumstances.
AMVETS describes itself as “the nation’s most inclusive congressionally -chartered veterans service group,” with 250,000 members. Jackson, who served greater than 23 years within the USAF and rose to the rank of captain, calls herself “America’s fight nurse” as she advocates for eradicating authorized and bureaucratic obstacles that hold vets from accessing a pure different to doubtlessly addictive prescription drugs.
“I take this function very personally, and I’m out right here day-after-day preventing and advocating for veterans,” mentioned Jackson, who wrote a memoir about her personal struggles with PTSD, “At Peace, Not in Items: Powering By the Ache.”
Jackson organized the primary convention within the nation to coach veterans in regards to the hashish trade and the potential advantages of medical hashish.
The Veterans Different Healthcare Summit was held in 2021 on June 27, Nationwide PTSD Consciousness Day, as a digital occasion.
It featured high-profile medical hashish advocates Montel Williams, who served within the Marines and Navy, and Dr. Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist who has carried out analysis on treating PTSD sufferers with hashish.
Convention matters included “Understanding the Endocannabinoid System and the Medical Advantages of Hashish,” “Entry to Medical Hashish,” “Lobbying for Change,” “Profession Alternatives for Veterans in Hashish,” and “Hashish Training & Analysis.”
Session movies obtainable
Dr. Patricia Inexperienced-Powell, govt director of Florida A&M’s Medical Marijuana Training and Analysis Initiative (MMERI), was a visitor panelist on Training & Analysis dialogue.
Movies of each breakout session are posted on-line at www.amvetshealprogram.org.
Jackson mentioned her motivation to stage the summit was to energise an AMVETS decision that requires veterans to have entry to medical marijuana and, extra importantly, so as to add gasoline to a motion to permit VA healthcare suppliers to advocate hashish therapies.
At the moment, the VA solely permits its physicians to speak about hashish use with veterans. However the “Veterans Medical Marijuana Secure Harbor Act,” which awaits U.S. Senate motion, seeks to permit VA docs to deal with vets with medical marijuana in states the place it’s authorized.
“That may be big,” Jackson mentioned of the affect the laws, if authorized, would have on veterans. “It could be a value financial savings to veterans if their VA suppliers truly wrote the suggestions. These medical marijuana playing cards are upwards of $150 to $200 simply to be allowed to go inside a dispensary. VA healthcare suppliers additionally would be capable of educate veterans in regards to the efficacy of hashish and the way to use i t .”
Second summit deliberate
Sensing there’s momentum constructing for a trigger that’s very private to her as a veteran with PTSD, Jackson already has a second summit deliberate for this yr. Will probably be held as an in-person occasion in Hawaii on Nov. 4 and 5.
“I believe it’s essential for veterans to know they’ve choices out right here, and the choice doesn’t at all times must be an opioid. It doesn’t at all times must be a medicine that you simply don’t wish to be on. I believe it’s essential that we unfold that gospel that veterans have choices. I believe it’s essential that we offer these sources to veterans so we will lower veterans’ suicide price,” she mentioned.
Whereas veterans can not go to VA docs to hunt hashish therapies, they will nonetheless go to personal apply qualifying physicians at their expense in states the place medical marijuana is authorized. However Jackson mentioned she runs into veterans who perpetuate the parable that they might lose their VA advantages in the event that they’re found to be utilizing hashish.
“There isn’t something technically on the market that claims in case you speak in confidence to your VA supplier that you simply’re utilizing hashish you’ll lose your advantages. There isn’t a regulation, however I do know that could be a worry within the veterans’ neighborhood,” she mentioned.
MMERI’s Conversations on Hashish Digital Discussion board that includes Cherissa Jackson is accessible on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=akHS3mHetVI. Go to MMERI’s web site at http://mmeri.famu.edu.