A study conducted by the University of North Texas Health Science Center and the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which was published last month in Substance Use & Misuse, revealed that 1 in 10 service veterans had used cannabis in the previous year.
The data was taken from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013-2019) comprising 16,350 veterans aged 18+.
Results from the study showed distinct differences between older veterans likely to use cannabis for medical reasons versus younger ones likely to use it for recreational purposes.
This observation has surfaced despite restrictions imposed on Veterans Affairs’ access to marijuana, prompting researchers to suggest further exploration into how veterans obtain cannabis, its effects on their health outcomes, and whether or not it can be used as an alternative to other drugs with potentially harmful side effects, according to a report by Ganjapreneur.
A poll conducted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) last year provided further insight into veteran sentiment towards marijuana legalization.
Of those surveyed, 83% expressed approval for making medical marijuana legal and 68% urged VA allowance for research exploring cannabis as a treatment option – with 75% indicating its potential use as such if available. Additionally, 20% reported having already used marijuana for therapeutic purposes.
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