Disabled American Veterans Wisconsin passed a resolution supporting medical marijuana access for Wisconsin veterans with service-connected disabilities at their State Convention in Green Bay on June 1-3, 2017. The resolution was drafted and presented by members of the group, Wisconsin Veterans for Compassionate Care.
The resolution was written by Steven Acheson and Kenneth L. Kuehnl, Jr., and presented at the convention by Mark Pendergast with the support of Trevor Sands and his daughter, Erica.
Acheson had this to say about the resolution adoption: “The reality is that veterans are prescribed opiates at nearly twice the rate of the general population, and overdose at 50% higher rates. We now know in states that have medical marijuana programs, opiate abuse and overdose deaths decrease dramatically. A medical marijuana program in Wisconsin will have the largest relative net positive impact on the veteran community. If Gov. Walker is serious about curbing Wisconsin’s opiate crisis, then medical marijuana needs to be part of that effort, or they’re figuratively just blowing smoke in the faces of Wisconsin voters.”
Pendergast noted that the authors updated the draft to emphasize PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) shortly before submission, and he “just carried the football” in presenting the resolution to the state convention. “What is our purpose if we can’t care for the sick and ill?,” Pendergast stated during the Resolution adoption. June has been designated by Congress as National PTSD Awareness Month for several years so the passage of the resolution is timely in that regard as well.
The resolution now heads to the National DAV Convention later this year for their consideration. Here’s hoping the resolution’s adoption will further motivate Wisconsin lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker to do the right thing and pass medical cannabis legislation so those who have served can have safe and legal access to this therapy.
Here is the resolution:
Medical Marijuana (MMJ)
WHEREAS, Over the past several years, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been thrust into the forefront of the consciousness of the medical community and the general public in large part due to recent combat operations and subsequent recognition of these potentially ‘silent injuries”; which have resulted in suicides and over medication of veterans and;
WHEREAS, medical cannabis is currently legal in 29 States and the District of Columbia and an additional seven states have pending medical marijuana legislation, including 3 out of 4 states surrounding Wisconsin; and
WHEREAS, the death rate from opioids among VA healthcare patients is nearly double the national average; and
WHEREAS, States that have legalized MMJ have seen a 15-35% decrease in opioid overdose and abuse; and
WHEREAS, the US Senate and House of Representatives have previously introduced legislation allowing VA doctors to discuss the use of MMJ with veteran patients to manage symptoms stemming from their service connected disabilities, and,
WHEREAS, there is conclusive and substantial evidence according to a comprehensive study from the National Academic Press and National Academy of Sciences that concludes that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for the treatment of chronic pain for adults, as anti-emetics in the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, and for improving Multiple-Sclerosis spasticity symptoms, and;
THAT, this same study concluded that there is moderate evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for improving short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbances associated with obstructive sleep apnea, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, fibromyalgia, chronic pain traumatic brain injury (TBI), and multiple sclerosis, and,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Disabled American Veterans Department of Wisconsin at State Convention held in Green Bay Wisconsin on June 1-3 2017, go on record to support the use of Medical Marijuana for service-connected disabled Veterans in the State of Wisconsin.
Kenneth L. Kuehnl, Jr.