CANNABIS TREATMENT FOR VETERANS OF UKRAINE WAR

CCJ Gabriel
CANNABIS TREATMENT FOR VETERANS OF UKRAINE WAR

The Ukraine war has led to a deep-rooted physical and psychological wound, with 57% of Ukrainians at risk of developing PTSD. Despite cannabis being decriminalized in small amounts for personal use, it is not available for medical research. The Forest Glade Centre for Psychological Health and Rehabilitation of Veterans offers various treatment forms, including video games, acupuncture, physical therapy, and group counseling. However, the staff believe more powerful tools are needed for effective treatment. Kseniia Vosnitsyna, director of Forest Glade, is pushing for cannabis, MDMA (ecstasy), and psychedelics like psilocybin to be explored in the treatment of traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Many veterans are already self-medicating to get rid of symptoms, but there is no other way to do so. The park in Kyiv is filled with reminders of conflict, including a plaque commemorating Ukrainian soldiers who died in Afghanistan and a cross to remember those killed in Ukraine since 2014. 


Cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating pain and PTSD, but in Ukraine, the production of marijuana, including for medical research, is banned. Professor Viktor Dosenko from the National Academy of Science is frustrated that no clinical research has been conducted due to the country's prohibition. President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for legalizing cannabis-based medicine, scientific research, and controlled Ukrainian production. A draft law aimed at creating a regulated domestic industry for medical cannabis passed a first reading in mid-July, but did not change the status of cannabis as a prohibited substance. Critics argue that the law could become a vehicle for corruption and criminal activity. With 70% of Ukrainians favoring the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, there is no clear solution.

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