Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis is a group that informs Indiana residents about medical marijuana. They’ve raised $10,000 to help their efforts and possibly get a hearing scheduled in the next legislative session. In a recent public service announcement they said: “Every 30 minutes a veteran dies – not from a bullet or an IED, from an overdose.”
Painkiller addiction and overdose has caused many veterans to also overdose on heroin, or even worse, commit suicide, WLFI reports. Jeff Staker says that he nearly became one of those statistics. He suffers from chronic back pain, sustained while serving in the Marine Corps.
Staker said, “I went to my VA doctor and he said that, ‘I think we’ve had enough of the Oxycodone. You’re taking too much to get the same pain relief that you needed. You might accidentally overdose.’” He was able to stop using the painkiller, and said, “But there are a lot of veterans out there that are hooked on the medication.”
In regards to the frequency of veteran suicide/overdose numbers, he continued with, “It’s not going to go away. But the states that have legalized medical cannabis, we’ve seen a reduction up to 40-percent.”
State Representative Sheila Klinker agrees when Staker mentions that the issue isn’t brought up by any committees. Klinker said, “We probably will be, to be honest with you, the last state to look at this issue and pass it.”
Klinker believes that the state still needs to review even more research and statistics from other medical marijuana legal states before the issue is even remotely considered. Staker says he already has the research in-hand, and the people to prove that it needs to be discussed now, not later.
Staker said, “If Indiana was a state that we could put this on the ballot, it would have been passed back on Nov. 8 of this year.”
Klinker is involved with her recently passed industrial hemp bill; otherwise, she’d co-sponsor a medical marijuana bill. She said, “I think people are studying this issue, and that they’re willing to at least kind of look at it in a different way that they did formally. Which was just legalizing marijuana – period.”