For Veterans, Marijuana Can Mean Life
November 27, 2007
Tim King, Salem News (OR)
For one Vietnam Veteran in Illinois, a substance many call dangerous, medical marijuana, meant life. When Lynn Morse used it he could function and cope, when he abandoned marijuana in order to "comply" with the VA and go on prescription drugs, he died.
His partner of three decades, a pilot named Susan Tackitt from Marion Illinois, is also a VA volunteer who spends countless hours at the side of disabled and sick veterans. She has a few things to say about medical marijuana.
"My companion of 30 years, a Vietnam Combat Veteran from the 101st Airborne 2nd brigade was introduced to marijuana while serving his country between 1967 and 1968."
She says it was given him as a stress reliever after a firefight. He was given the marijuana by people in his command, and many Vietnam Veterans experienced the same thing.
"My companion Lynn Morse continued to use it stateside to subdue the demons of war. He was a productive self supporting citizen as many Vietnam Veterans using marijuana for medical purposes are."
But she says there was a big drug bust in Franklin County, Illinois where he lived. The incident exposed improprieties in the local police force and many were fired because of their involvement. Some twenty year sentences were handed out to pot growers.
"This made Lynn's paranoia from PTSD even worse and he decided to seek help at the VA in Marion Illinois. He stopped smoking marijuana and started taking their psyc. drugs and that is when I lost the man I loved."
She says Lynn lost his "drive" and was determined to be disabled from PTSD.
"Our daughter has a bone deformity which the VA never acknowledged as being related to Agent Orange. She lost her dad a year ago on October 19th 2006 at the VA intensive care unit. He would have been 60 his next birthday."
So what was gained by the country's archaic drug laws in this case? A man who was able to be productive watched that inner drive vanish. Marijuana is natural, drugs made in laboratories are not. It's as if nobody can figure out that everything synthetic has roots in natural substance. Why spend millions replicating the effects of a treatment that is already useful and available in a garden?
Susan contends that marijuana still helps many Vietnam Veterans and they are reaching the age to retire. If steps to change existing laws are not taken, there will be many more like Lynn.
"We need to make medical marijuana legal for them because I see them enter the VA hospital and they are heavily sedated to calm them. I realize this cannot be proven but i am very thankful the American Psychiatric Association is backing medical marijuana. Now I pray the vote in December sways in favor of it."
Susan Tackitt, unlike most of society, is willing to put her butt on the line she says, "not only because they served our country but because they got a raw deal."
In spite of losing her life partner, she has remained in her volunteer role at the VA. She had a good reason too, her dad, another veteran, was living at the Marion, Illinois VA nursing home.
"My dad was in there but he passed away October 5th 2007." She still volunteers there after losing her father too, it is a dedication that is rare in this day and age.
"I am very active in trying to get medical marijuana passed. I am pushing to get it all passed for the Vietnam Vets who still use marijuana and also for it to be an option to all veterans with PTSD. The government is who introduced to to our military and should be accountable for those veterans still using it today."
She decries the use of deadly drugs so easily embraced by this society, and says marijuana is the happy medium for millions who suffer from PTSD."If these guys are given the drugs the government wants to shove down their throat to keep them from going off will put them on the couch in their own little world and some not able to function on their own. It tears my heart out when I hear a combat veteran with PTSD end his life because he didn't get the treatment he deserved."