A recent study delved into differences in attitudes towards marijuana as treatment options among veterans; a group presenting with many mental and physical health issues.
Common conditions among veterans include anxiety disorder, depression and stress disorder (particularly PTSD) – all conditions that could potentially benefit from the use of medical cannabis. But aside from access and regulatory issues, attitudes toward marijuana come into play as to whether this option is pursued.
Researchers from Ohio State University surveyed the attitudes of 315 active and veteran military personnel, along with 426 military family members and 427 non-military-involved individuals.. The survey was conducted over a few weeks in late August and early September last year, with participants drawn from the American Population Panel.
The survey consisted of four questions or statements, one of them being that marijuana can be an effective treatment for various medical conditions.72% of veterans agreed with this statement, as did 88% of veteran family members and 86% non-military respondents.
Concerning the statement that because of the unique hardships and health conditions experienced by veterans, U.S. Veterans Administration doctors should be legally allowed to recommend marijuana/psychedelics to veterans if the doctor believes the patient could benefit; 79% of veterans agreed, as did 92% of veteran family members and 90% non-military personnel.
The researchers concluded:
“The present survey’s results indicate that a sizeable majority of respondents supported the use of marijuana as a treatment option, and that many respondents supported the use of psychedelics as a treatment option.”
But it was interesting to note active and veteran military personnel were less convinced to use such drugs as a medical treatment when compared to their family members and the general population. And also, the probabilities of an agree response for the psychedelics-related questions were considerably less when compared to the probabilities of an agree response to the marijuana questions.
The pre-print of the study (not yet peer reviewed) is available from the Social Science Research Network.
According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 7 out of every 100 Veterans will have PTSD compared to 6 out of every 100 adults in the general population. And PTSD is 3 times more likely among Veterans who deployed compared to those who didn’t.