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Never Forget | Weed for Warriors: Medical Marijuana Access for Veterans

Never Forget | Weed for Warriors: Medical Marijuana Access for Veterans

"The Remembrance Day symbolism of the poppy started with a poem written by a World War I brigade surgeon who was struck by the sight of the red flowers growing on a ravaged battlefield." - Sarah Pruitt, History.com

Federal marijuana prohibition prevents the VA from offering medical cannabis to veterans & onerous state policies prohibit affordable medical marijuana access to veterans from legal dispensaries. 

1 in 3 Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal yet for many of the nation's 18.2 million veterans, federal policy denies veterans access to cannabis from the VA as an alternative to addictive and dangerous opioids and pharmaceutical drugs.  If you've ever talked to a veteran about their service and what was the most difficult part, most answer,,,having to adjust to being home. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, approximately 8% of US veterans have been positively diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives. Every war and every tour has its own PTSD statistics. Only half of those veterans diagnosed with PTSD actually go through a treatment process, often met with a script for opioids and/or other dangerous and addictive medications. On average 20 veterans commit suicide every single day throughout the United States.

Cannabis is a safer alternative treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD as well as TBI (traumatic brain injury) but the roadblocks to access are driving many wounded warriors to the black market.

When Prop 64 was passed in California it drastically changed the marijuana industry and not necessarily for the better.  While legally owned and operated dispensaries are now required to sell legally registered and tested cannabis products for both medical and recreational purposes, added costs to both cultivators and consumers, excessive state and local taxes and unreasonable rules and regulations have sharply increased prices, making it more difficult for those medically and financially burdened to find refuge in the legal medical cannabis space.  

Dale Schafer, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, who spent five years in federal prison for growing medical marijuana at home, serves as a legal counsel for the Weed for Warriors Project, a nonprofit cannabis advocacy organization for veterans with chapters in politically consequential states such as Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin and California. Schafer notes that the cost of cannabis on the state-legal markets is still too high for most veterans.

The legal market is not targeting veterans, especially disabled veterans who live on fixed incomes,” he says. “It’s targeting people with a lot more disposable income.”

Cannabis Cannot Be Donated in a Regulated System...Not Even To Veterans.

Alex Traverso from the Bureau of Cannabis Control in California told Fast Company in an email that, “under current law, cannabis cannot be given away. Everything must be tied to a sale." This makes marijuana compassion programs throughout the country almost nonexistent. Nonprofit organizations aren't federally recognized eliminating tax incentives to donors making it harder for non-profit organizations to collect donations. Some organizations strive, but not without risk, to continue to bring veterans medical cannabis as well as resources to help them cope with post traumatic stress, (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other associated ailments."

Please join us in supporting these organizations:

20% OFF Veterans Day Poppy Collection Below
15% Of Proceeds will be donated to Weed For Warriors Project

 
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BuzzWorthy are the organizations who provide veterans access to medical cannabis and other compassionate care programs.

Weed for Warriors Project

This group of passionate veterans is tired of hearing "take this pharmaceutical or take that pharmaceutical" from the Veterans Affairs when it comes to seeking help for their PTSD. Weed for Warriors Project is not just a community of veterans helping other veterans seek holistic rehabilitation and wellness solutions but together they're a social justice lifestyle brand. They see the bigger picture - veterans are dying every day and many of them by their own hand. Most of the organization is made up of veterans who have also been in the same boat but found relief and salvation in the cannabis plant. They support other veterans throughout the country offering them community-based projects, cannabis education, and compassionate care packages. As more and more veterans become a part of life-changing organizations like WFW Project, the more of our wounded warriors' lives are saved.

Hero Grown

Formerly known as Grow for Vets USA, Hero Grown has been giving veterans access to cannabis as an organization since as early as 2013.  Roger Martin, a proud US Army veteran and former police officer, who had his own personal struggle with PTSD and opioid addiction after his military service founded the organization. Cannabis saved his life as it helped him break his addiction and turn to a safer more natural treatment. In 2010, Roger started helping other veterans with their journey to seek comfort from cannabis as an alternative to prescribed opioids and other harmful medications that are given to veterans.  He began offering free medical marijuana to veterans who wanted an alternative treatment to the highly addictive and dangerous pills the VA prescribed.

Veterans Cannabis Group

Aaron Augustis, the Founder of the Veterans Cannabis Group, knows the importance cannabis has on a veteran's life. He started the compassionate collective in order to bring more awareness to medical marijuana in the veteran community. Their mission is to be a resource for veterans who use medical cannabis in order to give them safe access to their medicine, proper cannabis education, as well as information on the resources and benefits that the VA offers as an alternative to prescription drugs. Aaron's hope is to strengthen the relationship between the veteran community and local government officials and cannabis businesses. From building these relationships, the organization also offers networking opportunities for veterans to work with other veterans in the cannabis industry.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some Gave All. Never Forget.

 


Emily Ann Plizak
Green Bee Life Host, Producer & Contributer