I’m no expert on marijuana, but my gut tells me there’s something to it. I won’t try to tell you I have no experience with the evil weed, but I will say that it hasn’t been a big part of my life. I guess there are three main reasons.
- I’m a booze guy, initiated as a young Hoosier in Ohio border towns where 18-year-olds could legally drink 3.2 beer. Man, those bars were like Old West saloons. It’s a good thing we didn’t carry six-shooters.
- The prospect of being hassled by the law was a definite turn-off.
- Pot didn’t seem to do much for me. Well, there was this one time when I had a layover in Saigon and met up with my best friend from home…
Back to topic: I don’t think anybody escapes the horrors of war unharmed. Chemical and genetic makeup probably help some people deal with it better than others, but I believe that a feeling of isolation compounds all the thoughts and images of battle that plague combat veterans. Deep down, they can feel permanently isolated from civilian society because they think nobody really knows them anymore and never will. They only feel truly normal among other veterans, but when they get home their chances of coming in contact with someone who has shared their experience is mighty slim. Support groups can be a big help if you have access to one.
A couple of veterans in Olympia, Washington, have started a group that focuses on using marijuana to help reduce the incidence of suicide among combat veterans. One of these guys says he was over-medicated with a cocktail of 17 prescriptions that did little to reduce his thoughts of aggression and suicide. “I smoke a joint, and the thoughts are gone,” he told The San Francisco Chronicle.
The article goes on to cite studies that support the use of cannabis for PTSD, and then, typically, mentions other studies that say the opposite.
I, personally, hate taking pharmaceuticals. When I see these drug company ads on TV, I have to laugh, but it’s not funny. They go on to tell you the damn thing might cause certain cancers, suicidal thoughts,or death. What? They tell you to ask you doctor if it’s right for you. No thanks. Not interested. I like the one where they tell you to ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. I can just imagine the doctor saying. “Oh, I had intended to mention that to you, but yes I suppose having sexual intercourse could kill you.”
Obviously, certain pharmaceuticals used properly can be effective for some people. If it wasn’t working for me, I’d sure give medical marijuana a try if it was available, and it should be. No doubt a lot of veterans have heard of the positive results and are using pot as their drug of choice. They need to be able to do it without fearing the law.
To read the full story about these two guys in Olympia, Washington, and their Twenty22Many support group, Click Here.