26 Nov 2009

American Samoa Fono urged to consider amending Territory's drug laws

12:14 pm on 26 November 2009

The American Samoa Fono has been urged to consider amending the territory's drug laws for the benefit of military personnel suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Assistant Public Defender, Melissa Simenson, who represents a military retiree convicted of marijuana possession, says the law should allow military personnel to use cannabis if it's prescribed as the treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.

Ms Simenson says as many war veterans return home they are being diagnosed not only with physical scars but emotional ones such as stress.

She says some veterans have found the medicinal effects of marijuana soothe the very real and traumatic emotional effects of wartime.

Simenson says while American Samoa has taken a hard line on drug use and possession, it may be worthwhile the Fono examining the merits of such a change for veterans who have done their duty for their country.