First Active Duty Military Member Allowed to Use Medical Marijuana
U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Sean Major is trying to become the first active duty military member allowed to use medical marijuana. At 25 years old, Major has already completed seven full years as a military member. Over the course of that time, he’s sustained four traumatic brain injuries that continue to impact him today.
“If I was missing an arm or a leg you could see that I was injured but with traumatic brain injury it’s almost like your computer is damaged,” Major told reporters.
His doctors have prescribed a cocktail of more than 20 different pills in an attempt to help him cope with his injuries.
But after seeing the way cannabis helped his father, who is also a veteran, Major began researching alternative treatments.
Major said he now believes that cannabis could help him cope with his injuries. In particular, he said it could help with his sleeping problems and the anxiety he experiences from PTSD.
But because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, military members are not allowed to use medical cannabis.
Major is currently working to get special approval to use medical marijuana while still on active duty.
In addition to trying to get treatment for himself, Major said he’s also trying to start a nonprofit that would help wounded veterans become more self-sufficient.
Marijuana law as it relates to military members and war veterans has been an important conversation in recent months.
Active duty military members are not the only ones not allowed to use medical marijuana. Even after retiring, former members of the military who get medical benefits through the VA cannot access the drug.
That’s because under current rules, VA doctors are not allowed to prescribe medical cannabis to their patients.
Early this year, a group of 21 lawmakers started putting pressure on VA administrators to change their rules. In particular, they asked that VA doctors be allowed to talk about medical cannabis with their patients who are war veterans.