I served during Operation Desert Storm and in Mogadishu, Somalia, as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. Over the past several years, I have maintained a close relationship with many of my fellow service members. Many of them who served overseas would benefit from the safe, legal access to medical marijuana that Amendment 2 would guarantee.
I believe that post-traumatic stress disorder is a severely underdiagnosed condition that many veterans face unaided. Both anecdotal evidence and scientific research show that medical marijuana can offer significant relief to those struggling with PTSD, and voting “yes” on 2 can make the positive change that so many desperately need.
Thirty-one states already allow medical marijuana, so as one of the few remaining states with strict marijuana prohibition, now is the time for Missouri to act. Even the generally conservative veteran community has come around on this issue.
A total of 82 percent of all veterans support medical marijuana programs in the U.S., and the Missouri Veterans of Foreign Wars recently endorsed Amendment 2. Sadly, because of federal restrictions, no Veterans Administration facilities provide medical marijuana for our recovering service members.
But with more states adopting medical marijuana laws, that will put ever greater pressure on the federal government to act.
I ask that Missouri residents vote “yes” on Amendment 2 on Nov. 6 and give our service members and countless others the medication they need to be free from pain and live happy, normal lives.
Jim Nigles is a veteran who lives in Hartsburg.