WASHINGTON, D.C. — Boone Cutler, a combat veteran, said “What woke me up is the day that I reached up in my closet and I grabbed my gun and I put it to my head.”
During a recent press conference on Capitol Hill, combat veterans told passionate stories of marijuana changing their lives.
Josh Frey, a combat veteran, said, “If it wasn’t for medical marijuana, I wouldn’t be here today.”
It was organized by the American Legion which released the results of a new survey of veterans.
It found 92 percent support medical cannabis research and 82 percent favor legalizing the drug for medical use.
The American Legion is calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana to a lower classification of drugs. That would allow VA doctors to talk to their patients about potential benefits and open the door to increased marijuana research.
Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen is cosponsoring a bill aimed at accomplishing those goals.
Cohen said, “We should be doing as much research as possible and we should be giving people the freedom to have medical marijuana where it’s legalized.”
Cohen said it may be difficult to convince the Trump administration to agree.
In fact, earlier this year Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked Congress to crack down on medical marijuana.
The combat veterans who spoke on Capitol Hill say marijuana eased the mental and physical scars of war.
Butler, a former Marine, spoke about the first time he tried it.
“I slept for five hours, five hours. At that time I hadn’t slept for five hours in five years.”
The American Legion believes its push is gaining momentum.
Lawmakers are aiming for hearings on the policy change before the end of the year.