A group of U.S. military veterans has formally asked the United Nations to review the U.S. drug war and its impact on the lives of veterans who need cannabis for medical conditions, including PTSD. The Veterans Action Council is a group of respected professionals in their respective fields committed to setting higher standards of care for the military veterans community in the United States. As equals, each board member brings a unique perspective and extensive experience both in and out of service.
As people and organizations cannot communicate directly with the UN, the statement was made by the European Coalition for a Fair and Effective Drug Policy. ENCOD is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with the status of a consultant to the UN Economic and Social Council and has submitted the request on behalf of the Veterans Action Council in the United States.
The Secretary-General received the following policy statement in an open letter in April 2021, which is published online and distributed in accordance with UN requirements. (Titles added by theLeafOnline.com – Editors)
USA: Leading war, funding cannabis research
The purpose of this letter is to write down what we consider important details of our experience as military veterans who have access to medicine after the adoption of the Treaty on a Single Convention on Drug Control.
It was then-US President Richard Nixon who declared war on drugs, and the United States played an important role in implementing the Single Convention Treaty. Ironically, although the United States plays a major role in other countries that are making progress in national access to cannabis drugs, we did not have access to these treatments in the United States.
Since the early 1960s, the United States National Institutes of Health has provided scientists in the Israeli state with grants to study the cannabis plant, its compounds and its potential for medical use. Taxpayers in the United States have paid for research that has led the state of Israel to become a world leader in cannabis science, and many Israelis regularly use cannabis supplied by their government. It is time for the United States to treat its citizens with the same respect and compassion.
We find ourselves in the history of the opium wars, about 100 years ago, and the beginning of our drug control treaties, and how they represent the end of a colonial trade practice and, in fact, the colonial trade that the war brought to an end. We identify with those who wanted to get rid of the grip of opiates, but the side effect of the eventual abolition of this imperial trade in mind-altering substances would lead to cannabis no longer being perceived as a widely accepted ancient traditional herbal medicine, and instead a dangerous drug. As we understand it, India, with its long, bold, important and fascinating culture of cannabis, has advocated for access to cannabis and at least managed to defend the long-standing practice of consuming preparations made from the leaves.
As we begin to see more and more of the globe devoured by opiate overdoses and death, we can’t help but imagine how many lives could now be spared from access to cannabis drugs that not only proved impossible to cause. death from overdose but it is also known to have a ‘pill-saving effect’, helping medical patients like us reduce our overall opiate use and for some of us we can put opiates aside altogether. The cannabis plant has an ancient history and its use among humans is well documented.
Traditional medicinal plant, pharmaceutical potential
In the United States, we have inherited a long effort to make patients have access to cannabis drugs. In the mid-1800s, Dr. O’Shaughnessy brought cannabis to the attention of the medical profession in the United States, and by 1900, cannabis had been extensively studied by some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, and cannabis was included in the Pharmacopoeia of the United States. USA and is allowed. By the 1930s, the U.S. medical industry, namely Parke Davis and Eli Lilly, had mastered the cultivation of cannabis in the United States, and modern pharmacies boasted dozens of cannabis-containing drugs.
In the late 1930s and 1940s, cannabis was removed from the shelves of pharmacies in the United States and deleted from our forms and other directories. This was done contrary to the available scientific evidence from hardline activists abusing their public office and power.
Citizens across our country have recognized the therapeutic potential of cannabis, as evidenced by their voter initiatives and state legislation. Even though not all state programs are set up yet, the federal government refuses to recognize the medical benefits of cannabis, and our communities are flooded with pharmaceuticals. [opiate] drugs.
Opioids and opiates have a major impact
For people who have lost their identity, career, professions and even spouses, children and friends, these potentially destructive substances are too easy to abuse. We have lost more troops due to suicides and accidental overdoses than from battle, much more. Death is an ever-present reality in combat. Through training, repetition, teamwork and accountability, the fighter hardens against this fact. To protect what they love, they consciously enter the battle. No one was ready for this epidemic. The status quo further exacerbates the difficulties faced by all medical cannabis patients, not just the veteran community.
The monopolization of patents, the obstruction of objective research, and the work of undermining patients’ access to the healing properties of cannabis are all topics that are being played out over and over again in the United States. This is not hyperbole. It has been documented in countless lawsuits spanning decades leading up to the present. These difficulties include a lack of federal funding, a complex process of approving research, and a shortage of government-approved cannabis for clinical trials.
To put the process into perspective, the first rigorous clinical trial looking at cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, seven years of use and review boards was needed just to begin.
Mass rediscovery, recovery of medical marijuana
It should be noted that we have been able as a local voluntary association of patients, medical professionals and legislators to create over 31 modern state medical programs for access to cannabis, providing state-of-the-art cannabis drugs that are of controlled quality, have reliable reproducible dose and reliable and remarkable benefits for patients.
This was possible only because we were able to show real positive results from this method of treatment with relatively few negative side effects. While federal agencies strongly state that cannabis “has no accepted medical use for treatment in the United States,” the medical ban is facing increasing legal and regulatory challenges.
Among the victims of the government’s “war on drugs”: People with disabilities, the sick and the dying have been denied treatment, which is known to alleviate suffering and inadvertently replace these herbal treatments with deadly alternatives.
Certainly, if doctors can be trusted to prescribe morphine, they can be trusted to use cannabis in a safe, medically appropriate way. Seriously ill Americans are suffering because of federal policies that prohibit prescriptive medical use of cannabis. To maintain this irrational ban, federal agencies ignored the will of the people and the needs of seriously ill Americans, stifled research, thwarted the intentions of state legislatures, blamed the treaty, and refused to abide by administrative and judicial decisions. We want the world to know.
Issues of availability and control have a huge impact
Providing cannabis legally available for medical purposes may seem simple, but creating a rational system of prescribing medical access covers complex regulatory and legal issues. There are also specific concerns about appropriate government control and participation in research, breeding, production and distribution programs. These issues require careful, public consideration.
No one advocates that all patients with cannabis-responsive disorders be forced to use cannabis. Ultimately, the decision to use any medication is a deeply personal decision that is best left to the patient and the physician. In a more rational world, natural cannabis and synthetic pharmaceutical drugs would be available from a medical point of view, and patients and physicians would determine which drug was most appropriate for a particular treatment need.
Don’t let stains from past mistakes start the prospects for the future
About 180 years ago, the United States, British, French and other world powers imposed their will on our Chinese brothers and sisters. Today, we are asking the world to repair the damage caused by colonial control of the ancient drug trade, to acknowledge the complete mess we have made in our efforts to ban drugs, and to renew our promise to ensure access to drugs. Let us abandon the ban, a cure that adds more and more discomfort and less control with each passing year, and work together to prepare future generations for the challenges ahead.
For reasons of the number of words for this letter, we humbly refer you to our report, the Green Paper, which we have included, for further reading. It sets out in more detail our position on medical cannabis.
Thank you for your time and attention.
– Veterans Action Council
Source: 64th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs Regulatory segment – 5. Implementation of international drug control treaties: d) international cooperation to ensure the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their deviation; (e) other issues arising from international drug control treaties.