As I just blogged, military veterans have a way of helping cross the political divide on drug policy, so it’s no surprise to see that they are helping lead the fight to legalize medical cannabis in the few prohibition states that still don’t have any medical programs. Veterans and their families sacrifice so much for our nation and it is unconscionable that they can be prosecuted and persecuted for using a relatively safe medicine recommended by their doctor to alleviate their severe and debilitating medical conditions, whether they are suffering physically or mentally. As USA Today reported, military veterans are key in helping sway more conservative voters and elected officials:
“In a state that’s 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, they hope their voices will act as a crucial lever to push through a bill that has faced opposition in the past.
“Successes are already evident. In Texas and Louisiana, veterans played a key role in the recent expansion of medical marijuana programs. In Mississippi, they supported a successful ballot initiative for medical cannabis in 2020, though the result was later overturned by the state Supreme Court. And in Alabama, the case of an out-of-state veteran arrested and jailed for possession of medical marijuana incited national outrage and calls for legalization. The state legalized medical marijuana earlier this year.
“To be sure, not every veteran supports these efforts, and the developments in red states have been influenced by other factors: advocacy from cancer patients and parents whose children have epilepsy, lawmakers who see this as a states’ rights issue, a search for alternative pain relief amid the opioid epidemic and a push from industries seeking economic gains.”
“I’ve lost more men to suicide since we went to Afghanistan in ’01 than I have in combat,” veteran Chayse Roth, told USA Today, adding that, “It’s just unacceptable for these guys to go overseas and win the battle and come home and lose the battle to themselves.” Roth stated that he personally doesn’t use cannabis but that he supports his fellow vets that could benefit.
A sincere thanks to all veterans who have given so much of themselves and their lives to our nation. And a huge thanks to those that advocate for the well being of all of us by standing up for the truth when they come home. By advocating for medical cannabis, these veterans are taking heat for many others that are unable to speak out due to their occupation or societal pressures. In 2021, it’s odd for many of us living in legal states to even imagine people’s lives ruined because medical cannabis remains illegal, but that is the case for far too many people. The day of fully ending Reefer Madness prohibition from sea to shining sea in the land of the free and the home of the brave inches closer each and every day because people are speaking truth to power.
Kind Leaf is humbled and proud to provide discounts every single day to military veterans, as well as all senior citizens and OMMP patients, in addition to offering amazing weekly deals. You can even view our menu online and order via Leafly to save time. Or come on into the the premier craft cannabis boutique in Pendleton, we’d love to see you.