A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that one in 10 US military veterans used cannabis in the past year. The study, which surveyed over 800,000 veterans, also found that those who reported using cannabis were more likely to use it for medical reasons than recreational use.
The study is the latest in a growing body of research exploring the relationship between cannabis use and military veterans. Advocates for cannabis reform have long argued that veterans suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could benefit from access to medical cannabis.
Despite growing evidence of the potential benefits of cannabis for veterans, access to medical cannabis remains limited for many due to federal restrictions on the drug. While some states have passed laws allowing for the use of medical cannabis by veterans, others have yet to do so.
The findings of the JAMA study highlight the need for increased research into the potential benefits of cannabis for veterans, as well as the need for expanded access to medical cannabis for those who could benefit from it. As public opinion on cannabis continues to shift, it’s likely that we will see continued efforts to reform cannabis laws at the state and federal levels, including efforts to expand access to medical cannabis for veterans and others who could benefit from its use.
In the meantime, it’s important for veterans and others considering using cannabis for medical reasons to speak with their healthcare provider to determine if cannabis is a safe and effective treatment option for their specific condition. With the right research and policy changes, cannabis could one day become an important tool in the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, including those affecting military veterans.
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The data was published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.