GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - When it comes to medicinal marijuana, many advocates praise the plant's medical qualities while those who don't support the drug say they see marijuana having a similar future to that of the opioid crisis.
News Channel Five's Tyler Young went to the Grand Junction V.A. Medical Center to speak with veterans and the staff about medical marijuana and they're thoughts on the subject.
Veterans tell him they support the V.A. looking into the potential, while other veterans are on the fence and some who see the potential of another opioid crisis.
"If it weren't for MMJ, I wouldn't be here today", says Josh Frey, a Combat Veteran.
It's been 5 years since Amendment 64 has been passed and over those five years, Coloradans have seen the marijuana industry become a booming market, from recreational to medicinal marijuana shops to different types of products offered like regular marijuana buds and cannabidiol hemp oil.
Combat veterans spoke on Capitol Hill explaining in deep emotional stories about how marijuana has benefited their lives.
"I slept for five hours. Five hours, and at that time I hadn't slept for five hours in five years", says Boon Cutler, another Combat Veteran.
The American Legion of Veterans released results for a new survey conducted for veterans. The survey shows that 92% of veterans support medical cannabis research and 82% support the legalization of medical cannabis on the federal level.
"Currently marijuana, regardless of its use, remains illegal under federal law and if it's brought on to the campus it will be confiscated and destroyed", says Paul Sweeney, the Chief of Customer Relations at the Grand Junction V.A. Medical Center.
"The American Legion is pushing the federal government to reschedule marijuana into a lower classification.That would allow VA doctors to talk to their patients about potential benefits and allow for increased research", reports Drew Petrimoulx.
"Well, I guess if it helps, it'd be alright. Anything is worth looking into if it's going to help somebody", says Jim Chaffee, a former Inspector General of the U.S. Army.
Currently, the American Legion is pushing towards having lawmakers look into the policy change before the end of the year.