Medical marijuana advocates rally in support of veterans - KPTV - FOX 12

Medical marijuana advocates rally in support of veterans

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Medical marijuana advocates in Oregon are voicing their support for a Senate bill that would add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of qualifying conditions allowed by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. 

Advocacy groups met at the Oregon State Capitol Building on Thursday in support of the new bill.

Currently, veterans who suffer from PTSD cannot acquire the medicine through the program for the disorder alone. Oregon's marijuana laws do, however, allow for patients to acquire the drug for pain caused by the PTSD. 

SB 281 seeks to change the restrictions, making it legal for all PTSD patients to have access.

Michael Krawitz, the director of a Virginia-based group called Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access says marijuana can help PTSD patients find balance in their lives. 

"Although many disabled by post-traumatic stress are able to access medical marijuana under the heading of pain, it is disrespectful to those veterans to not allow them to honestly claim their primary medical condition," said Krawitz.

The movement comes at a time when 20 percent of returning U.S. veterans are being diagnosed with the disorder upon returning from war zones.  A recent report shows military suicides were up to a record 349 in 2012. 

Advocates argue that this statistics punctuate the need for new alternatives. Oregon public health officials have denied requested to add PTSD to the medical marijuana list on two other occasions.

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