Military Veterans Battle Southern States and the VA for Right to Use Cannabis
This piece is inspired by an article in Stars & Stripes, a publication of the US Military, and was originally reported in the State of Cannabis News Hour on Clubhouse on Monday, August 16, 2021:
“VETERANS PUSH FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN CONSERVATIVE SOUTH”
“Each time Chayse Roth drives home to North Carolina, he notices the highway welcome signs that declare: “Nation’s Most Military Friendly State.”
“That’s a powerful thing to claim,” said Roth, a former Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who served multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Powerful, but true: North Carolina is “home to eight military bases, one of the largest veteran populations in the country and a Republican-controlled legislature that prides itself on supporting the troops…”
Which is why Roth is “… calling on the state to live up to those words.” … by advocating for lawmakers to pass a bill that would legalize medical marijuana and allow veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating conditions to use it for treatment.
He doesn’t use cannabis himself but wants others to have the option. Why?
“I’ve lost more men to suicide since we went to Afghanistan in ’01 than I have in combat,” said Roth. “It’s just unacceptable for these guys to go overseas and win the battle and come home and lose the battle to themselves.”
The veterans’ battle is not only with Southern States, it’s with the backstabbers at the Veteran’s Administration. The VA knows, because they post it on their website, that about 17 US military veterans commit suicide every single day. It’s both a tragedy and a national disgrace!
Just last Wednesday, “… the federal Department of Veterans Affairs released an article authored by four department doctors condemning cannabis as a remedy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”, claiming, “Research to date does not support cannabis as an effective PTSD treatment ... And some studies suggest cannabis can be harmful, particularly when used for long periods of time.”
Why would the VA say this? Because the V.A. LOVES Pharma, and loves to prescribe “zombie drugs” to veterans.
I interviewed an Army paratrooper named Boone Cutler 4 years ago, who’d been blown up by a mortar in Faluja, and needed 13 surgeries. He told me:
“After getting back from Iraq, I was hospitalized with my TBI and PTSD, … During recovery they put me on opiates, 30 mg morphine and 70 mg of Oxy, plus other stuff. … You get addicted pretty much right away. And feeling distorted all the time on the zombie drugs…
This is where a lot of our warfighters can’t take it, and take their lives… It got so bad for me, I went to my closet and got my pistol… put it right here…
But when I didn’t do it, I’d think, “There must be a reason I’m not pulling this trigger.” Somewhere inside, I was realizing I needed to get off the drugs and get better.”
Just hours after the VA said their bullshit about cannabis and PTSD, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley [Oregon] and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the VA budget for 2022 which inserted language prohibiting the VA from interfering with or denying service to veterans involved in a state-legal medical cannabis program.
Finally, that effort seems to be on track at the federal level!
So how’s it going in North Carolina?
“An early indication ... came at a State Senate committee hearing earlier this summer. Standing at the podium, Roth scrolled through his phone to show lawmakers how many of his veteran contacts were now dead due to suicide.
Other veterans testified about the times they had contemplated suicide and how the dozens of prescription medications they had tried before cannabis had done little to quiet those thoughts.
The bill later passed that committee with a nearly unanimous vote.” It still has a ways to go to become law in North Carolina.
And I would like to say Thank You for Your Service to Shaun Salvaje and other veterans in the room.
Image source: https://www.everplans.com/articles/honoring-fallen-armed-forces-service-members-military-funeral-customs-explained