Hoosier veterans head to D.C. to fight for marijuana legalization

INDIANAPOLIS --  A group of Indiana veterans is heading to Washington D.C. next week to try to convince lawmakers to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans.

Advocates with the group “Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis” say allowing veterans to have medical marijuana would save many lives.

According to their website, the group advocates for the “legalization of medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes and for legislative bodies to endorse veterans’ right to use medical cannabis therapeutically and responsibly.”

“Within the US one person, every 20 minutes dies of either an accidental and or intentional overdose to prescription pain medication. Doing the math, that’s three every hour, 72 a day and so forth. It has been reported that our Veterans are overdosing at twice the rate of civilians….in other words, two of the three causalities within the above hour time frame are Veterans,” says Jeffery Staker, a Marine veteran, DOD Firefighter, and founder of Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis.

The “What Medical Cannabis Could Look Like For Our Veterans” forum will take place in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, September 13.

Also joining the forum will be the groups Veterans Cannabis Group, Marijuana for Trauma, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and Operation EVAC.

Currently, C.B.D. oil can only be prescribed to patients with epilepsy in the state of Indiana.

State Representative Jim Lewis (R-IN) has already announced plans to introduce a bill to legalize medical marijuana during the next legislative session.

RELATED | Indiana lawmaker pushes for medical marijuana to curb opioid epidemic

"People telling me their personal stories, how they've been helped by this product, how far behind Indiana is on this issue,” said Lucas. “That right there, we have a responsibility to at least investigate it and determine the facts, and if there is something positive out there, we have to pursue that."

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