Indiana's Republican dominated legislature has repeatedly denied even a hearing of a medical marijuana bill, but a new voice is speaking up in hopes to change a state's old views. Last year the national American Legion asked congress to remove marijuana from the list of drugs with no medical purpose, and this last week Indiana's American Legion followed suite in voting to ask the Indiana legislature to reclassify marijuana and recognize the potential benefit in cannabis. Veterans are a large portion of patients who use medical marijuana and politicians listen to what the veterans have to say. A veteran of the Marine Corps and leading advocate for medical marijuana in Indiana, Jeff Staker, says cannabis can help patients avoid addictions to harmful painkillers like oxycontin.
On Sunday, the Indiana American Legion approved a resolution supporting the national American Legion's position and calling on Indiana's legislature to "remove restrictions from marijuana and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value."
“Politicians listen to veterans,” he said.
Staker and others contend that marijuana can prevent wounded veterans from getting addicted to pain medication and can help combat-related mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder.
"I said I want to challenge him to prove one thing and one thing only: that marijuana has no medical benefits whatsoever,” Staker said. “It’s been a month or a month and a half and I haven't heard back."