As Vets Demand Cannabis for PTSD, Science Races to Unlock Its Secrets

Elvis Alonzo began smoking cannabis as a last resort. Three years as a Marine Corps officer and 13 years with the Glendale Police Department in Arizona—where he was exposed to murders, suicides and people dying in his arms—had left him emotionally crippled. Toward the end of his police service, doctors diagnosed Alonzo with post-traumatic stress disorder and prescribed various medications to temper his nightmares and flashbacks. The drugs “turned me into a zombie,” he says. “I was so out of it that I couldn’t even drive, so they (the police department) had to medically retire me.” Alonzo stopped showering. His wife left him, and he nearly lost his house. Then a friend suggested he try marijuana to relieve his symptoms. “It’s been a godsend,” he says. “It curbs my anxiety, and it makes me sleep fantastic for at least four hours. It needs to be studied.”
Thousands of military

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