Wednesday 26th June 2019




27 DEC 2018


I served 8 years in the US Army from 1967 through 1975. Fifteen months of my eight years was served in a combat artillery unit in Vietnam, where I received  ……………………..

…………………………………………………….  an accelerated promotion to SSG E-6.

Resulting from my Army service, I have three medical conditions, frequently treated with medical marijuana. These three service connected conditions are combat PTSD, glaucoma with degeneration of the optic nerves, and chronic pain secondary to osteoarthritis. The federal government (VA)  concedes, these three conditions are caused by my military service.

Thirty states now have legal medical marijuana. Indiana does not.

Since medical marijuana NOT yet legal in Indiana, I have FOUR choices.  I can use large amounts of over the counter pain meds, like Excedrin or Tylenol, long term, and risk liver damage. I can use prescription opioid pain medications which are highly addictive. Or, I can use illegal marijuana, which is readily available almost anywhere in Indiana, and risk the indignity of being shackled and jailed.  Or, I can just hurt a lot, be a nervous wreck and have my glaucoma get worse and worse.

Legal medical marijuana has none of the ugly draw backs of those four unhappy choices.

I communicate with fellow soldiers in other states, some of whom, I served side by side with in Vietnam, and they report effective problem free treatment of pain and other of our shared conditions with medical marijuana in THEIR states.

I have discussed this serious inequity for Hoosier war vets with Dist 49 State Senator Jim Tomes.  Tomes told me, he will NEVER approve medical marijuana, because he fears, it will fall into the “wrong hands.” It is ironic to hear this fear stated by a guy, who worked for years to legalize switchblade knives and sawed off shotguns in Indiana. In my opinion, Jim is a pretty nice guy, but he is no four minute miler mentally. His backward looking attitude is harmful to war vets and other living creatures. 

I spoke with State Representative Wendy McNamara. She says she is supportive of medical marijuana and expects a bill on this issue to advance in the Indiana legislature by the end of this calendar year. She says she has heard from lots of constituents who want legal medical marijuana. On the other hand, she says she opposes legal recreational marijuana. 

I take Rep McNamara at her word, and trust that she will not try to block or complicate to death medical marijuana legislation.

A lot of people talk about “safe guards” in legalizing medical marijuana.  The only sensible safe guard needed is requiring a prescription from an MD licensed in Indiana. If you go beyond that, you have politicians and bureaucrats trying to practice medicine. Legalize medical marijuana and trust the MD’s to do their job. If they do wrong, come down on them. But, don’t over complicate relief for the elderly or afflicted. 

Ron Nesler  posting from New Harmony, Indiana


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