Every Memorial Day, the United States remembers the military veterans that paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Unfortunately, we don’t do enough to support veterans and their families while they are alive, especially for wounds that we cannot see. While often associated with combat veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can impact anyone that experiences or witnesses a a life-threatening event. Of course, war can induce PTSD, but everyday people are also suffering from severe symptoms that can detrimentally impact their lives and even lead to suicide. It has been reported that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs confirms 22 veteran suicides every single day as too many vets are obviously not getting the treatment that they need. If Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs a veteran PTSD psychedelic study bill, researchers may be able to unlock breakthrough treatments that can help, as The Independent covered:
On Sunday, a proposal called HB 1802 passed both houses in the Lone Star State, which would approve the study of MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic” mushrooms, for medical uses, including a psilocybin clinical trial treating vets with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“I am so proud of Texas. I am so proud of not only the bipartisan support but the expediency in which they’ve pushed this legislation through the House and through the Senate,” Amber Capone, founder of Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, told KXAN. “I feel like Texas will lead the way for all veterans in the United States.”
My cousin, Wyly Gray, served in the Marine Corp in both Iraq and Afghanistan and he’s dedicated his life to helping his fellow vets suffering from PTSD, as he told Al Jazeera:
“Patriotism now means something that I can really control. My block, my community. Where my little eyes and my little hands can physically reach. It means giving back to those veterans that may not be so lucky for whatever reason, due to their own failing support structures or overwhelming trauma to their psyche or their body.”
A close friend of his went from holding a top-secret clearance and working an elite job in the Corps to dying in the depths of despair, homeless, suffering from PTSD. Such a rapid fall from grace cut Wyly deeply. He, too, battles suicidal ideation. The problem is not abstract.
His solution? Supporting veterans in their recovery from PTSD. He runs the nonprofit Veterans of War that offers group therapy and long-term support, assisted by plant medicine.
Hopefully, Governor Abbott will sign House Bill 1802 as future research conducted in Texas will help improve and save lives beyond the Lone Star State’s borders. Texas has a huge impact on our nation’s politics and culture and this development will surely lead other state’s to follow suit and as we have seen with cannabis, progress state by state will eventually lead to action in Congress. Please spread the word and urge Texans to contact Governor Abbott to urge him to pass HB 1802.
Kind Leaf is proud to honor military veterans everyday with a discount, as well as all senior citizens and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program patients (and the OMMP recognizes PTSD as a qualifying condition).