By Andrea Flores
(CBS4) – The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Thursday that marijuana would remain on its list of the most dangerous drugs.
Marijuana will remain a Schedule I drug, in the same class as heroin and LSD, with no accepted medical use.
The DEA rejected petitions to allow marijuana use for medical purposes. But one Colorado nonprofit providing free pot to veterans is handing it out to get them healthy, not high.
Army veteran Roger Martin uses medical marijuana to cope with leg pain he’s had since the 1970s.
“Cannabis literally saved my life,” said Martin. “I’m in less pain now than when I was taking 180 milligrams of oxycontin a day.”
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He says the DEA’s decision to keep marijuana classified as a dangerous drug with no medical use doesn’t come as a surprise.
“They’re scared to death that if marijuana or cannabis is declassified, that all the sudden they’ll lose a lot of funding, so it’s all about the money,” Martin said.
As a result, Martin founded Grow for vets, a nonprofit that works to get free cannabis into the hands of veterans, helping them treat medical conditions like PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and chronic pain.
“We have men and women that are coming to us, that are taking 20 to 25, or more, different prescription medications every single day,” Martin said. “Some of them have been able to get off all of the drugs the VA has given them.”
While the DEA maintains marijuana has high potential for abuse, Martin disagrees.
“It can’t kill you,” Martin said. “It’s not nearly as dangerous as the deadly drug cocktails that the VA shoves down the throats of all these American heroes. I think they deserve better than that,” he said.
Martin says Oregon Congressman Rep. Earl Blumenauer offered amendments to a VA spending bill that would have allowed veterans access to the drug.
Martin says it passed in the Senate and the House by vote, but was stripped from the bill once it got to committee.
Grow For Vets hopes, one day, that Veterans Administration doctors will be allowed to write recommendations for medical marijuana use.