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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Call of Duty: How Veterans Can Benefit from Medical Marijuana

Jordan Webber

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Veterans and Cannabis

Avid fans of video game franchise Call of Duty are certainly thrilled for the scheduled released of the Modern Warfare reboot. While gamers can spend all day and all night playing as a soldier, they can get away from the game without difficulty and continue with their daily lives without issues.

The same cannot be said with actual soldiers. Many of these individuals come home from their tours physically injured and emotionally scarred.

Medical Marijuana and Veterans

With the possibility of permanent injuries and exposure to death, veterans must live with various issues they take away from wars. You would think that the Department of Veteran Affairs will take advantage of the medical benefits cannabis has to offer. However, reports say that this treatment option is not endorsed by the VA.

This is true as according to VA’s website, it is required to follow federal laws, including those prohibiting marijuana as a Schedule One Controlled Substance. It also clarifies that VA clinics and health care providers are not allowed to recommend it or aid in acquiring the plant.

However, VA clarifies that veterans can still be eligible for VA services even if they participate in VA care services. They can also discuss the use of cannabis with VA physicians.

How can MMJ benefit veterans?

In light of VA’s policies on medical cannabis, you may be wondering how the plant can benefit veterans. Here are some of the therapeutic effects of cannabis and some of the conditions it can treat:

  • Pain relief and anti-inflammatory

Injury-related pains can subsist even when the wound is healed. This can be due to physical or psychological issues. Marijuana is known for its potential as a pain management treatment because of is relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of the plant, especially with cannabidiol (CBD).

This effect can help treat muscle and bone aches due to past injuries, spasms and other similar sensations.

  • Relaxant

The plant is known to induce relaxation, not only because of its CBD content but also because of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With the help of THC, marijuana is also found to cause euphoria depending on the amount of THC users consume.

Because of its relaxing and even euphoric effects, MMJ is also prescribed to patients suffering from various mental and mood disorders. This includes depression and anxiety. It also treats post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which many veterans suffer from.

  • Disease prevention

Marijuana is used to prevent various diseases because it is known to regulate various aspects of the body. It helps control cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, making it helpful for preventing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Cannabinoids from the plant also boost the patient’s energy and cognition, making it great in preventing brain degeneration diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Veterans’ Options

Veteran’s are not banned from participating in state medical marijuana programs. This means that they can access the various benefits of the herb without losing their eligibility for VA’s healthcare. With this, medicinal cannabis remains to be an option for veterans.

Aside from purchasing actual buds for therapeutic uses, patients can purchase CBD-infused products such as CBD oil, tinctures, ointments, and capsules. These are perfect for treating various aches and more.

Medical marijuana has helped millions of Americans in treating their health issues. With the sacrifices veterans make, they should be able to take advantage of what the plant has to offer. While the removal of cannabis from the list of Schedule One substances may seem unreachable today, we can always hope and act to make the use of the plant federally legal not only for veterans but for the millions of individuals that need it.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Columbia Care Kicks Off First Cannabis Credit Card

Jordan Webber

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Columbia Care Cannabis Credit Card

Columbia Care announced the launch of its National Credit program with its CNC Card.

The medical marijuana company licensed to operate in the U.S. and 15 jurisdictions in the European Union said the launch of the card follows a successful test run in New York in the second half of 2018. The introduction of the card led to an 18% increase in the number of in-store purchases. Moreover, the card also helped boost repeat visits and home delivery orders.

With the card, people in the U.S. can now get a credit card for buying medical cannabis.

From New York, the Columbia Care will offer the program to its Delaware and Pennsylvania markets. Later, the company’s Illinois and Arizona customers can apply for the card. The firm aims to expand the reach of its program to all its locations by the end of 2019.

Cannabis Credit Card

Available initially only at Columbia Care dispensaries, the firm is looking into opportunities for expanding the availability of the card across the country through targeted partnerships.

Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said the firm aims on expanding the cannabis market in the country. Through the launching of the first cannabis credit card in the country, the company allows consumers and participants in the industry to purchase cannabis products.

He also said the card would act as a starting point of the company’s nationwide growth initiatives, including home delivery, the launching of an e-commerce site, and automatic fulfillment.

In addition to having a tool for an electronic form of payment, CNC cardholders can also be eligible for other benefits including discounts, cash back affinity programs, educational seminars, privileged access to new products and other exclusive offers.

Cannabis Banking Gaining Steam

Aside from having a cannabis credit card, medical marijuana customers may also enjoy the benefits of banking. Earlier this month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed legislation that kicks off a three-year pilot program wherein cannabis firms could use an online system in sending and receiving digital currency.

Last month, the California State Senate passed a bill allowing financial institutions to offer products and services dedicated to cannabis financial transactions.

If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs the legislation, around 900 bank branches in the state would be allowed to handle cannabis cash, California Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg said.

The federal government is also working on protecting legitimate cannabis financial transactions. Earlier this month, a U.S. House committee approved a bill that includes a provision that would safeguard banks serving legal marijuana businesses from getting penalized by federal financial regulators.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Church of England Backs Medical Cannabis Use and Investment

Stacey Wellington

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Church of England Cannabis Investments

The Church of England (CofE) has recently given the green light on the use of medical marijuana and cannabis investment.

The investment arm of CofE, the Church Commissioners of England, said it would lift its self-imposed ban on investing in medical cannabis. This reversal takes place at a time when many significant investment funds remain steadfast on so-called “sin stocks” or companies operating in industries facing legal uncertainties.

The CofE investment arm, which manages the church’s £12.6 billion ($16 billion) portfolios, had previously enforced an investment exclusion policy on cannabis. So far, it has not yet invested in companies related to the sector, Church Commissioners head of responsible investment, Edward Mason, said.

Mason said the change in CofE’s stand comes after it has made a distinction between recreational and medical cannabis. After realizing the potency of the plant’s medicinal properties, the church is content with its proper use for therapeutic reasons.

The UK government legalized medicinal cannabis in October 2018. However, only a fraction of British patients received a medical cannabis prescription, citing difficulty in persuading specialists about marijuana as a right medical option as a primary reason. Other reasons include the problems dispensaries face in obtaining licenses for cannabis-based products as well as the trouble in transporting them once they arrive in the country.

The Duality of Marijuana as an Investment

Like the Church Commissioners of England, other ethical investors are also starting to recognise the dual nature of marijuana as an investment. KLP Fund, an Oslo-based firm with $80 billion in assets, has recently sold its stocks in recreational cannabis. But it retains its stakes in medicinal marijuana

The AP Funds in Sweden also recommended the exclusion of recreational marijuana from its $180-billion portfolio. Like KLP, it said, it will still invest in medical marijuana companies. The Swedish fund referred to the recent guidance of the UN on both ethical investment and narcotics.

The CofE said it will not invest in companies that get more than 10% of their revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana. This rate is the threshold the company uses for the majority of its other ethical exclusions, including tobacco, gambling, pornography, and lenders charging at high interests.

The UK’s church is known for publicly voicing its positions in ethical investment issues. It considers factors such as morality, environmental impact, corporate governance, and social good. It the past, the church has challenged ExxonMobil and Glencore by pressuring executives to improve their policies related to environment preservation.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

VA Restricts Veterans’ Access to Medical Marijuana

Jordan Webber

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VA's Restriction to Medical Marijuana

Veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are having difficulty accessing medical marijuana for their medical conditions, says US News. The department has policies in place preventing doctors from prescribing medical cannabis to retired military personnel.

The VA has taken this move because of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance. The policy applies even in medical facilities in states with legal medical marijuana. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medicinal cannabis, 10 of which allows recreational use of the plant.

Marijuana laws in these states allow medicinal application for chronic pain, spasms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) just to name a few. However, Lt. Col. Doug Distaso of the Air Force has not been able to access the plant for therapeutic purposes due to VA’s restrictions. Instead, Distaso was prescribed a ‘drug cocktail’ which causes him to undergo a ‘medicated stupor.’

Aside from Distaso, there are thousands of veterans experiencing chronic pain and treated using opioids. Moreover, these military personnel also retire from service with PTSD. Reports show that there are at least 20 deaths through suicide recorded every day.

According to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the Schedule I list is composed of drugs, substances, and chemicals that have nor currently accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse. Marijuana is listed along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

The US News reports that the VA has only created two opportunities to discuss cannabis for veteran patients when they request information.

Meanwhile, veteran groups such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are calling for reforms to VA’s systems. These groups also promote cannabis for pain management and mental health illnesses. They also recognize the plant’s potential to address the opioid epidemic.

 

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