Never Forget | Organizations That Give Cannabis Access To Veterans

Avatar Emily Ann Plizak |

Veterans – they fought for us. Let’s fight for them and their right to clean and safer meds!

If you’ve ever talked to a veteran about their service and what was the most difficult part of it, most of them might answer with – adjusting to real life again. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, 8% of US veterans were positively diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives. This is just an approximate amount since every war and every tour has it’s own statistic of PTSD which fluctuates. Only half of those diagnosed with PTSD actually go through a treatment process which in some cases those veterans are met with a script for opioids and/or other dangerous and addictive medications. Between those who seek treatment and those who do not, on average 20 veterans commit suicide every single day throughout the United States.

Cannabis is a safer and cleaner alternative for veterans suffering from PTSD as well as TBI (traumatic brain injury).

When Prop 64 was passed in California it drastically changed the marijuana industry both for better and for worse in different circumstances. For starters, it made all legally owned and operated shops sell legally registered and tested cannabis products whether they were for medical or recreational purposes. This standard made the prices jump due to the cultivators’ legal obligation to pay for testing as well as pay for the taxation on their product. Not to mention the added tax consumers have to pay on top of the heightened prices, all and all making it more difficult for those in need to find refuge in legal medical cannabis.

UNDER CURRENT LAW, CANNABIS CANNOT BE GIVEN AWAY… 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 so, therefore, no tax incentives to donors making it harder for them to collect donations. Some organizations strive to continue to bring veterans medical cannabis as well as resources to help them cope with PTSD, TBI, and other associated ailments.

These organizations give veterans access to cannabis and other compassionate programs:

Weed for Warriors Project

This group of passionate veterans is tired of hearing “take this, take that” 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 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 soldiers’ lives are safe.

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. It all started with Roger Martin, a proud US Army veteran and former police officer, who had his own personal struggle with PTSD and opioid addiction after his service in the military. He claims 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. Rather than the prescribed opioids and other harmful medications that are given to veterans, he started giving free medical marijuana to veterans who wanted an alternative treatment to the highly addicted 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 besides 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.

Never forget.

 

Emily Ann Plizak

Cat and pizza lover, only child, dirty joke teller. Born & raised in Philadelphia, PA she wishes she enjoyed spicy foods like most people in Los Angeles, CA. She has a small town, girl-next-door look with a sassy big city attitude and aspires to host her own late night talk show.