PORTLAND (WGME) — Chronic pain, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are just a few of the health issues facing many veterans who return home from serving our country.CBS 13 took a look at a controversial treatment option and whether the Veterans Administration should change a long standing policy against it.Ryan Begin joined the Marines in 2001. He did two tours with the First Battalion, Second Marine division in Iraq. The second tour ended his military career.”On my second tour, I was hit by a roadside bomb and lost my elbow, my right elbow, had over 35 surgeries. Was on a cocktail of prescription pills, similar to a lot of veterans’ stories you know,” Begin said.Begin couldn’t get away from the pain and the trauma. Begin says he attempted suicide three times. “I ate 90 Valium, drank two bottles of whiskey in a 24 hour period, I ate 45 Baclofen at one time, I ate 30 Valium at one time. There was no light, there was no tunnel, there was just blackness and I mean, once you hit that point, it seems like an easy way to end things,” Begin said.But Begin found his way back. He says it started with his desire to quit all the pills. But he had to find a way to live with the pain and the PTSD. Medical cannabis has been the answer for Begin. He says it was suggested by a holistic doctor and it changed his life.”When you have PTSD, you’re instinctual.  You act like, if you hear a noise, you think it’s a bomb.  What the cannabis does, I hear the same noise, and it allows me to put myself in the present,” Begin said.Now, Begin has a new fight on his hands. Currently, the Veterans Administration does not allow VA doctors to suggest medical marijuana as an “option” for treatment, even in states where it is legal.CBS 13 requested clarification on the policy from the VA, which provided this information: “Federal law prohibits VA physicians from prescribing medical marijuana and from completing forms/paperwork necessary for patients to enroll in state marijuana programs.”The VA goes on to say that in some cases, doctors can “modify” treatment plans to include marijuana. “VA does not administratively prohibit VA services to those veterans who participate in state marijuana programs. In some cases, participation in state …Read More