During a Michigan state Senate hearing discussing medical marijuana, state Senator Rick Jones cut short the words of a military veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result, the veteran was removed from the hearing, undoubtedly causing many people – not just marijuana activists – to raise their eyebrows.(1)
In a video documenting the exchange between the two men, the Iraq war veteran states, "I've seen children skewered from rebar from collapsed buildings. I kicked in doors and I killed people ... and battle through PTSD to this day. And medial marijuana is the thing that saved my life." He urged the hearing members to "Vote 'no' on Bill 4209," then started to refer to the problems surrounding the issue. "It takes more money from them. It taxes their medicine," the veteran stated. "You're gonna give some of that medicine to the Sheriff's Department, the jackboots, the thugs that come into people's homes."(1)
It's at this point that Senator Rick Jones decided he'd had enough, first repeating, "No, no, no" to the veteran who continued to remind him that he had fought for his right to speak, and that prohibiting him from doing so was in violation of his oath. Still, Jones stated, "You're done, sir. I honor your service to our country, but enough is enough. I will not have you calling people names."(1)
Interestingly, in 2012, Senator Rick Jones called the head of a public relations firm "a hooker" in an email. Hmmm. Go figure.(1)
Whatever happened to freedom of speech?
With that, two people approached the veteran and he was seen promptly exiting the room. Just like that, he was silenced by the Senator who was clearly shaken by words that apparently rang too true for him to handle, especially considering that he worked at the Sheriff's Department for more than 30 years. At the same time, a veteran who can't afford to lose out on the benefits that medical marijuana has afforded him in the wake of the atrocities he's witnessed and experienced, wasn't given adequate opportunity to convey his thoughts. Bill 4209 threatens severe regulation of medical marijuana in how it's ingested and dispensed, and would also include criminal penalties for any violations.(1,2)
The veteran wasn't even warned about his name-calling or given an opportunity to continue; instead, he was told he was done immediately after his somewhat controversial wording. Even when he was interrupted, he maintained an air of professionalism, including a calm tone that included reminders of his right to freedom of speech.
So much for expressing your opinion. If Big Government says you're done, well, then we guess it's "case dismissed" as this veteran unfortunately learned.
The many benefits of medical marijuana, including providing relief for PTSD sufferers
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main ingredient in marijuana, has been linked to helping with the healing of a variety of physical and mental challenges. From diminishing cancer and improving glaucoma conditions, to providing pain relief and delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease, it's been found to help people experience improvements in their ailments. For many, medical marijuana is a source of immense relief that helps them cope.(3)
In the case of those with PTSD, people are often affected by terrifying circumstances even years after they've occurred. Typically, people who have been in war zones or experienced violent acts find that they suffer from debilitating flashbacks and thoughts that fill their lives with fear, anxiety and depression. Medical marijuana is beneficial in this instance as well; Dr. Phil Leveque writes on Salem-News.com that he's treated numerous PTSD Victim Veterans. He states, "... Vietnam Vets in my care told me that they found marijuana to be very effective against battle terrors and PTSD. Most were Infantry Veterans and they went through Hell before they got sent home."(4,5)
It's been his observation that veterans who were "over medicated with barbiturates and powerful tranquilizers" were turned into "mindless vegetables." Only marijuana seemed to greatly alleviate the veterans' PTSD problems. Leveque says, "... my Nam PTSD Vets told me that cannabis/marijuana worked better than any pharmaceutical they were given," which is why he is an advocate for such treatment.(5)
Clearly, it works.
But like many things that seem to work for the population at large, it's often silenced and ignored by the powers that be, who hope you ultimately come to see life only through their politically-driven eyes.