VA Secretary Shulkin Still Hasn’t Responded to The American Legion’s Call for Marijuana Research

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator October 6, 2017

    The American Legion has been calling on the federal government for over a year – specifically the Veterans Affairs Department – to support research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in treating veterans with PTSD.

    Many veterans have told both the Legion and NORML that they have been able to eliminate or reduce their dependency on other drugs, specifically opioids, by using cannabis.

    The Legion recently ramped up their efforts to convince VA Secretary Shulkin to expand research into the therapeutic and medicinal effects of cannabis by sending him a letter demanding for his direct involvement in making sure the medical marijuana study meets its goals.

    That letter was sent on September 19th. 17 days ago.

    Has Secretary Shulkin or the Dept. of Veterans Affairs responded? No. Have either even acknowledged receipt of the letter? To public knowledge, no.

    Why hasn’t Sec. Shulkin or the VA responded? Is he going to listen to the nation’s largest Veterans advocacy group? One that is pleading for help that our veterans so desperately need and deserve? Great question. The American Legion seems to be wondering the same thing.

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    The Legion has been expressing their frustration on Twitter for Sec. Shulkin’s failure to act on this pressing issue.

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    Secretary Shulkin is doing himself, our veterans, and to a larger extent, our nation, a huge disservice by not acknowledging the Legion’s cry for help and support.

    Join us in calling upon Secretary Shulkin to listen to the pleas of Veterans.

    Share one or more of the following tweets (and this blog on all of your accounts):

    Why hasn’t @SecShulkin responded to @AmericanLegion call for help? https://twitter.com/AmericanLegion/status/911576050043408384

    .@SecShulkin failure to act on this issue is hurting our veterans. @AmericanLegion

    RT to help the @AmericanLegion call upon @SecShulkin to take action on behalf of veterans

    21 responses to “VA Secretary Shulkin Still Hasn’t Responded to The American Legion’s Call for Marijuana Research”

    1. Evening Bud says:

      I think we need to drain the swamp.

      • Julian says:

        Take it from me Bud; I was born in DC; DC was BUILT on a swamp. Like we literally had slaves throw rocks into the ocean and built our nation’s capitol on top of it. That’s why the Washington Monument continues to sink 1″ every year and we have to walk downstairs to what was once the front door. (“Is this the basement? Why… is the door down here?”)

        But off of that optimistic perspective, I’m watching Justice Kennedy like a hawk on the Gill v. Whitford case. I mean, I thought the Washington v. Sessions case would capture my impassioned marijuana activist attention… and it does… but nothing like this Gerrymandering case;


        It’s all about Justice Kennedy’s own passion… a passion NORML activists (Iowa NORML v. Iowa State U.) …and influential Americans all regard as most sacred… the 1st amendment… as it pertains to our right to vote.I have this funny feeling like Justice Kennedy is going to vote with the plaintiffs and drop the mike and retire on this decision. I feel like Justice Gorsuch is so full of his own $#!+ like his $#!+ don’t stink that he’s got the whole Supreme Court like “look at this bit€#. Who does he think he is? Struttin in here actin like his $#!+ don’t stink? Interrupting us… Giving us long lectures like we need to hear his ancient Federalist out-of-context-bull$#!+ interpretations.” I mean it. Even the conservative justices like Alito get cut off by this Gorsuch… wont even let a Justice get a word in edgewise?!
        Anyway, thats why I believe Justice Kennedy is going to vote down gerrymandering and give marijuana reform and civil liberties the biggest boost we’ve had this century. From my little keypad to God’s ears…

        • Evening Bud says:

          Julian, as you obviously know, the Gerrymandering in this country is outrageous, and obvious proof that our democracy has long been compromised. But until the conservative jackanapes are out of the majority in the Supreme Court, we’re gonna continue to have travesties like the out-of-control Gerrymandering we see now.

          I’m still PO’d at the GOP for stealing Obama’s rightful Supreme Court pick, and you can be sure that the day the Dems take back control of the House, I’m gonna be on the phone on the Dems’ asses to start playing real hard ball. No more, “Friends across the aisle” crap. The country is going to hell, and it’s already time to really “take back our country.”

          Drumpf draining the swamp? Hell, he’s the original swamp creature. I’ll be happy the day I see the swamp creature wearing orange to match his beautiful complexion.

          PS–I truly hope you’re right about Kennedy. Our democracy is in trouble.

    2. Laird Sasser says:

      C’MON shilling whathefuckever! GIMME my goddamned money!

    3. Denise Williams says:

      Veterans administration should be ashamed of themselves. Some important staff care more about their reputations then then the Veteran’s. Seems the same for the Director of Veterans Affairs.

    4. Julian says:

      Thank you American Legion, for standing up for American values and our veterans who suffer from the symptoms of war and then are burdened with the addiction of opiates. And thank you Justin Strekal for continuing to invest your time and energy to push the VA through the American Legion to provide mmj.

      Our nation’s military is the greatest example of how a socialist program works under a Democratic Republic. (Well, when it WAS a Democratic Republic, no thanks to the plutocracy of bad defense contractors and arms manufacturers).
      That is why legalizing marijuana for our veterans must remain a national priority for NORML’s lobbying efforts at the federal level.

      At the state and local level, we even have civilians suffering from PTSD;


      I find it disheartening when a psychologist writes a commercial for psychological counceling of Vegas victims suffering from PTSD without mentioning medical marijuana or the teachings of NP Heather Manus concerning PTS Growth. But at the same time Im encouraged that marijuana has been legalized for Vegas and is available when investments in mental health are at an all time low.

      Whether veteran or citizen, we need certified nurse practitioners to deliver medical marijuana to the residential homes of those in need. Way back more than 80 years ago, before mj prohibition began, a doctor carrying an herbal cabinet that included whole plant cannabis door to door was a common thing in most towns and cities. In the country one could grow their own and make their own medicine. If we really want America to be “great again” can we bring that back? (Just without the alcohol prohibition, racial violence and Indian Massacres…)

    5. We need some national support! In allowing us to contact Am legions to support our program. Read Veterans retired and hon. Discharged.

    6. Julian says:

      Marijuana policy seems to encompasse everything we do as Americans. Since my previous post was on veterans and PTSD with a discussion involving the massacre in Vegas… I couldnt help but read back on another horrible error in the Post article I linked to author Carol North:
      Unless we include “from a lone psychotic shooter” Vegas was not the “worst mass shooting in American history.”


      Did we forget about Wounded Knee? More than three hundred Indians, mostly women and children slaughtered just to protect Colonel Custars’ BIA embezzlements used to create a Belknap Guns crime ring in Congress… starving innocent people were killed to protect stolen money intended to feed those very women and children? Its only fitting Custer died in battle.
      Or the Sand Creek Massacre? More than 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho slaughtered because some punk Colonel wanted a medal and a door to Congress?
      Im angry to admit I was never even taught about the Colfax Massacre; 150 African Americans killed in a courthouse by militant white supremacists who were never charged after a voting dispute became violent.

      What does this have to do with marijuana legalization, PTSD or the American Legion? We cant heal as a nation or improve any of our laws while we erase history, deny the truth about what happened or elect racist mass murderers to Congress. Marijuana can help us all, civilians and veterans alike, to face the PTSDenial we have of our own history and identities and turn it into PTSGrowth. Healing begins with the disinfecting sunlight of Truth.

    7. I feel any drug use is wrong and PTSD, surely should. be last ones walking around high and stone who has proven that they cant handle reality. Dont let,the hidden reason push this,help us by suppourting us and our families.

      • Julian says:

        Care to elaborate Daniel? “PTSD surely should” what?
        What is a drug to you?

        The difference between medicine and poison is dosage. And there is no evidence anywhere to suggest anyone ever overdosed on marijuana.

      • Sean says:

        I must have made an error. I thought I was reading the NORML site, but after reading Daniel Riddick’s comment, I think accidentally stumbled on to the Project SAM site.

    8. John Murphy says:

      I like this, thank you.

    9. Secretary Shulkin has not responded to my concerns about a VA employee who committed a felony…

      Been waiting since May of this year.

      My question is why. ! Don’t veterans matter.

    10. Peabody 's Cow says:

      I am a chronic pain pt.and it behooves me as to why IT’S acceptable for the government to approve MARIJUANA AND ECSTASY for PTSD,yet bellyache over opioid use which for some is last resort. If uou want to get high,maybe its not all about pain reduction and quality of life!

      • Julian says:

        Annual US overdose rate from prescription opioids accirding to the CDC:


        Annual US deaths from marijuana:
        The CDC has this single, pathetic non peer reviewed, uncontrolled example of a man who bit a marijuana cookie and jumped to his death:
        No control in the autopsy for other substances, conditions or mental health of the subject in question. Thats it. This is all they can come up with in all recorded history of marijuana consumption.

        Here is a study from that same year from the Journal of the American Medical Association that began showing a reduction in opiate abuse and suicides in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana;


        Recreation is a form of therapy. If Kathy Bates can do it safely so can you.

        • Evening Bud says:

          I see the trolls are on the loose. The Baptist Bible-Thumpers are obviously worried. BTW, I didn’t realize that Ecstasy was legal. Peabody, is there an Ecstasy dispensary near you? Come on, brother, share the spoils.