Article by Tom Angell, Marijuana.com
The American Legion, which has more than 2 million members, passed a resolution at its annual convention last week urging Congress to “amend legislation to remove marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.”
Dr. Sue Sisley, one of the researchers for the first federally-approved study examining medical cannabis’s benefits for people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a driving force behind the effort to get the American Legion on board, said the organization’s support will propel the debate about the issue.
“I consider this a major breakthrough for such a conservative veterans organization,” she told Marijuana.com. “Suddenly the American Legion has a tangible policy statement on cannabis that will allow them to lobby and add this to their core legislative agenda. The organization has a massive amount of influence at all levels.”
Sisley, who spoke at the American Legion convention in Cincinnati before the vote on the resolution, has been lobbying local American Legion posts to endorse her research for the past two years.
“I was surprised to see how many of the local posts were eager to support our work but I wondered how we could ever get the national office to examine this,” she said, adding that she met with with key American Legion national staff over the past year. After hearing how marijuana’s Schedule I status impedes research into the benefits it can bring to veterans suffering from physical and psychological war wounds, leadership ended up inviting Sisley to present at a forum on PTSD and traumatic brain injury in January. That was received well, and the organization then invited her to speak at the national convention last week.