Veterans Deserve Cannabis. Here’s How You Can Help
Thirty US states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis for adult use, and the majority of Americans reportedly support legalizing cannabis nationwide. Despite all of this, 20 million American veterans are still blocked from receiving safe, legal, and affordable access to cannabis. Although doctors employed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs are permitted to discuss medical cannabis with their patients in states where the plant is already legal, VA docs aren’t currently able to prescribe cannabis—even in states like California and Colorado.
United States Veterans are two times more likely to succumb to accidental overdose, and we’re losing more than 20 of them to suicide every day. But cannabis could help. According to a survey conducted by the American Legion back in 2017, 82 percent of all veterans and caregivers want to have cannabis available as a federally legal treatment, 92 percent support research into medical cannabis, and 20 percent of veterans report that they are already using cannabis to treat their medical or physical conditions.
As time, the American people, and veterans themselves continue to favor legalization, we’ll start to see more and more support for veterans’ right to non-opioid medication. In the meantime, here are just a few ways to help US veterans get access to cannabis.
Support Cannabis Organizations that Support Veterans
Whether you’re hoping to donate time, money, or social media exposure, there are an encouraging number of organizations that are solely dedicated to helping veterans get safe and legal access to cannabis. Here are our top picks:
Veterans Cannabis Project
Created by U.S. Navy Seal Nick Etten, the Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP) is exactly what it sounds like: an organization dedicated to improving veterans’ quality of life through safe and legal cannabis access. VCP empowers veterans to live healthy, fulfilling lives, while advocating on their behalf for unrestricted and supported access to medical cannabis through the VA. The folks over at VCP also believe that the cannabis industry is uniquely positioned to help unemployed veterans secure successful and fulfilling work.
Weed for Warriors Project
The Weed for Warriors Project provides veterans with safe and legal access to free cannabis. (Though proof of service and a current medical recommendation are required.) Weed for Warriors also provides veterans with information about medical cannabis and a safe place to fellowship with other veterans.
Founded in 2014 as Grow for Vets, Hero Grown is nationally recognized as one of the leading organizations fighting for veterans’ right to use cannabis. Hero Grown strives to raise awareness, advocate, and assist veterans, first responders and their families with the use of cannabis as a safe alternative to prescription drugs. Amazingly, Hero Grown has given away over two million dollars’ worth of cannabis products to veterans since its inception.
Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance
The Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance has been providing veterans with safe and legal access to high-quality, lab-tested cannabis since 2011. The organization also aims to be a community for veterans to reach out to one another and share their experiences. Additionally, SCVA advocates the health benefits of cannabis and focuses on how to better address issues of pharmaceutical dependence, such as depression, anxiety, anger, and PTSD.