Every Day is Veteran's Day
Good morning, Jason Beck and Rico Lamitte, and hello out there Susan Soares, we talked about going to war earlier this week, and also about your dear Father who was a Navy veteran. I know you're so proud of his memory, so this story is for you.
It’s 4th of July weekend in 2022, and in addition to being Ms. Jenny’s birthday, it’s a day that always reminds me of the battles that were fought on our behalf to win all these barbecues and cornhole games and fireworks.
I googled “Advanced Military Systems” yesterday and learned that President Biden is ready to invest another $800 Million in weapons for Ukraine; that Lockheed Martin just won $307 Million contract for a new missile system; that the US military is working on rail guns, body armor, robotic troops, computer systems, hacking capabilities, autonomous drones, laser weapons, and goggles that can see through vehicles… All part of keeping the lid on the whole world.
Major investments in the toys, what about the troops? You might know from previous stories, I’m post a lot of stories about veterans, those men and women who have put their lives on the line and made it back home, many of them wounded.
Turns out the “The Veterans Administration categorizes wounded veterans into healthcare priority groups. The highest priority group is for veterans who cannot work due to severe service-related disabilities, and those with a Medal of Honor.” There are more than 2 million men and women in this category, and the expenditures for them are the highest, as they should be.
And there are several million more who are not completely blown up, who are trying to make their way in life with injuries caused by the massive trauma of war. Post Traumatic Stress being an insidious but hard to see injury that still contributes to – even though the US is not involved in any shooting wars at the moment – a shameful level of veteran suicides.
I also came across a new interview by Bryan Buckley, "'You Sent Me to War. Now's Your Turn to Fix Me.' How a Veteran-Owned Weed Brand is Helping Other Veterans" in Stars and Stripes.
Bryan was my first interview in a series on the American Cannabis Report, and although I’ve since changed my strategy to focus on women and people of color, I’m absolutely proud to have spoken with Bryan.
What an incredible man! He’s the best of the best, one of the most elite soldiers in the world.
THE DEEPER DIVE
Bryan left college in response to 9/11, became a Marine, became a Special Forces Marine, a Marine Raider, and a team leader in the First Ranger Battalion. He was wounded in battle and won a Purple Heart, he was also given a Bronze Star For Heroism In Battle.
Best of the best.
Suffers from PTSD, as you might expect from what he's been through, or as he describes it, “I’m 100% disabled.”
But you know you can’t keep a good Marine down. A meeting a few years ago helped him develop a new mission: to help other soldiers with PTSD and opiate addiction.
He says, "I'd transitioned out of the military and I was just having a really rough time sleeping at night," Buckley said. "And that's when someone was like, 'Hey, you want to try some cannabis?' And when I took it, [it felt like] a warm blanket hit my brain. It was kind of like my mind was finally at peace."
"That same year, in a Southern California meeting with members of Congress, he made the case for cannabis' potential in helping heal the wounds of war."They were like, 'I would say right now I'm sure it works but I'm not going to walk out that door and make that statement in front of the TV or anything,'"
And then, the lightbulb went off: "Literally, I looked at a Paul Newman salad dressing bottle [with its] 100% of profits to charity. … Why don't we do 100% of our profits to help fund our research?"
He created and built the Helmand Valley Growing Company, and alongside, a non-profit called Battle Brothers Foundation. Bryan has channeled $57,000 in profits to Battle Brothers already, and needs a few hundred thousand more to do the things he want to, so feel free to step up and support this incredibly important mission.
The priority is to get studies moving forward quickly that will allow cannabis to be used by veterans with PTSD, because still, amazingly in 2022, the VA’s position “is that "cannabis is not recommended for the treatment of PTSD.”
THE LAST WORD
So I ask you, Veterans Administration – with all the $billion$ being spent on laser beams and Ukrainian missiles, how about a few fucking bucks to validate that God’s Favorite Plant is effective at treating the hearts and minds of our Greatest Living Heroes, our veterans?
And don’t tell me that you have to wait for Congress ... you don’t play mother-may-I for anything else.
Do the Right Thing! Let our veterans that want or need cannabis to use it!