The recent Colorado Cannabis giveaway drew almost 1,000 of our nation’s veterans to Colorado Springs to learn more about cannabis as an alternative treatment to the processes they are currently undergoing. Usually prescription pills for pain and anxiety. Those very combinations being the most deadly, and most frequently used in veteran suicides. There are currently an average of 22 veterans who commit suicide per day in the U.S.
There were a few items given away for trial purposes for the attending vets. Marijuana seeds were one of the freebies while vets were also allowed to taste test products like cannabis cookies to see if they felt they could be a substitute or an addition to current treatment to help them gain the relief they need from a wide variety of physical and psychological conditions.
“It isn’t going to hurt them as much as the prescription drugs,” Roger Martin, an Army veteran and director of Operation Grow4Vets, the nonprofit responsible for organizing the event, told the Gazette. “I just need something to take the pain away during the day.”
Almost 20% of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from PTSD according the the statistics available at Veteran’s Affairs. The number is higher for veterans who served in Vietnam. One of my own saddest memories from childhood was when my uncle returned from Vietnam and was soon arrested for having marijuana in his possession and sentenced to 7 years in prison. Many Vietnam vets suffer from a variety of anxiety disorders, for which cannabis is a safe treatment. Many vets are on medication regimen that can involve taking up to twenty pills per day. The Colorado Cannabis giveaway wanted to extend the chance for some of those vets to see if cannabis could help them replace one or more of those medications, which can often be very expensive for disabled vets on a budget.
“I get emails and calls every day from veterans moving to Colorado because they’re tired of being criminals in the state they live in,” Martin told KXRM-TV.
Our country’s veterans deserve far, far better than that for seeking relief from the horrors inflicted upon them in wars to protect our freedoms. One freedom of which is the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes for all who need it.