DENVER — For years now, some veterans groups and marijuana advocates have argued that the therapeutic benefits of the drug can help soothe the psychological wounds of battle. But with only anecdotal evidence as support, their claims have yet to gain widespread acceptance in medical circles.

Now, however, researchers are seeking federal approval for what is believed to be the first study to examine the effects of marijuana on veterans with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder…

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/us/19pot.html

Dear [xxxx],

For 25 years, MAPS and our members have been working to end the decades-old stigma on psychedelic and medical marijuana research. Now we’re national news, and the whole world is watching.

MAPS’ proposed study of marijuana for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) made the headlines yesterday when The New York Times announced that “Marijuana May Be Studied for Combat Disorder.”

With so many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and suffering from anxiety, nightmares, and sleepless nights—and with few effective therapies available—the need for research into alternative treatments is more pressing than ever.

As MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., told The New York Times, “These are people whom we put in harm’s way, and we have a moral obligation to help them.”

We need your support to turn psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines.
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The proposed study would compare the effectiveness of five different strains of marijuana (smoked or vaporized) in 50 veterans with chronic PTSD who have not responded to other treatments.

Many veterans already know that marijuana can relieve some of the physical and psychological pain of war in ways that conventional medicines cannot. According to one injured Army veteran from Texas who recently returned from an 18-month deployment in Iraq, “I have seen it with my own eyes. It works for a lot of the guys coming home.”

The proposed study was also featured on such military news sites as USNavySeals.com and Stars and Stripes, as well as other (perhaps less likely) sources such as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved the study protocol in April, but it remains on hold while the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Public Health Service decide whether to let us purchase marijuana for the study.

We hope these headlines will help these agencies realize they haven’t been doing enough to develop more effective treatments for PTSD—and to take action by allowing us to purchase the marijuana we need.

You can learn much more about MAPS’ medical marijuana research and connect with the key players at Cartographie Psychedelica, our 25th Anniversary conference and celebration from December 8-12 in Oakland, CA.

By making a contribution to MAPS today, you will be part of a growing community of scientists, patients, doctors, government regulators, soldiers, and others who are unafraid to take a careful, honest look at the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.

Sincerely,
Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications