A study published in Depression & Anxiety found marijuana use among military personnel with PTSD symptoms may lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This study builds on a foundation of research signaling that marijuana use among veterans suffering from symptoms of PTSD could cause worse outcomes.
Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration, released the following statement in response:
“Based on industry activism and a few anecdotes, some 23 states have listed PTSD symptoms as a qualifying factor for ‘medical’ marijuana. Unfortunately, studies such as this show the rush to approve marijuana as a ‘treatment’ for a host of issues is running far ahead of the science. What’s more, this alludes that marijuana use could lead to far worse outcomes for those suffering from PTSD.
“As some 20 veterans die by suicide each day in our country, it is incredibly concerning these states could be making this crisis even worse by promoting marijuana use. This is not the first-time research has made this point, either. Direct associations have been made between the high frequency use of high potency marijuana and the development of mental health issues including psychosis, depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicidality.
“Veterans have bravely put their lives on the line for our country. We owe it to them to provide top quality, evidence-based health care, job opportunities, and the chance to successfully readjust to civilian life. Marijuana has no place in that.”