Wow… Weediquette

I just finished watching the second episode of Weediquette on the new Viceland network. After the first episode I knew this show would be some good, on the ground, real world depictions of cannabis culture and the movement to legitimize research and legalize cannabis for all Americans. I wasn’t expecting to see the level of raw reality as the host, Krishna Andavolu, explored on a very personal level the hell that so many veterans deal with day in and day out as a result of post combat PTSD and the ineffective, arguably harmful, treatments they receive from the VA medical system.  These treatments include cocktails of heavy opiates, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and any number of other drugs to deal with the side affects of the other drugs. 

The show looked at 2 veterans who both suffered from PTSD but where the 2 differed was one veteran chose not to continue taking the cocktails of prescription drugs the VA gave him and instead treat his PTSD with medical cannabis. While taking the “legal” drugs this man was violent, aggressive and suicidal making 4 attempts to kill himself including suicide by cop. It wasn’t until he began treating his PTSD with cannabis that he saw relief from his symptoms and was able to get his life back in order. 

The other vet was still taking the drugs prescribed by the VA, 35 pills a day. He basically kept himself shut away from other people as much as possible. As he shared his story with Krishna and recounted the things he went through in Iraq you could see him reliving the moments and all the pain and anxiety he’s experienced for years. Simply heart wrenching. 

Now this isn’t news to me. Like most people I’ve seen news reports and ads that talk about PTSD and high suicide rates among soldiers, but it was still distant for me. Watching the program tonight brought it closer to home for me. I guess before I chalked it up as another horrible effect of war and violence. It was easier to think there isn’t anything that can be done about it so it could be tucked away and forgotten. Seeing tonight how these men were left to suffer when there is an effective and safe treatment easily available to except for outdated policies based on fear and racism put it in my face. 

What I’m going to do about I still have to figure out. 

This kind of reporting though, it’s so good, so enlightening. 

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