Recent research suggests marijuana could be more effective than current drugs as a treatment for soldiers suffering from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Of course, the research was publicized by the Huffington Post, whose website sidebar included links to “PBS Reveals The Gruesome Truth About Chicken” and “Why I’m Learning To Make Gluten-free Thin Mints To Be Supportive Of Other Moms.” Those titles immediately make the legitimacy of the “news-source” a bit iffy, but the research was originally published in Neuropsychopharmacology, an academic journal associated with nature, so it’s clearly legit.
So, why would Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole say, according to a CBC report, that “Marijuana has harmful effects and there’s no proof it helps with post-traumatic stress disorder”? Well, it might be because, as his name suggests, he is a big Tool(e). I mean, c’mon.
To be fair to Erin the Fool—I mean, Minister O’Toole—he did specify that there is no clinical support for marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. Upon further research using the resources made available by the Conservative Government, which include a 2004 Encyclopaedia Brittanica and an unrelated video about how marijuana is bad for kids, Minister O’Toole’s claim seems sound. Yet, if you scroll the end of the same Huffington Post piece mentioned above, you will see a link to an article asking the age-old question, “Do All Women Have A G-Spot?” and, just above that, another link to an article in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs that presents clinical evidence that marijuana can help with PTSD.
We can now conclude that Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole is completely wrong. He would have been just as correct had he said, “Marijuana is not a drug,” or “Our federal government is doing everything it can to support Canadian veteran mental health.”
Unfortunately for veterans dealing with the struggles of PTSD, Erin O’Toole’s uninformed remarks–and the government’s position that marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada–could hinder veterans’ abilities to receive the support they need from their country.