military

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U.S.: House Republicans Strip Veterans Of Equal Access To Marijuana In Dead Of Night

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"This isn't right for our veterans, or the American people."
~ Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Jeff Merkley

On Wednesday, in the dead of night, as House Democrats held a sit-in for gun safety, House Republicans stripped language that would make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana from legislation to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

With no transparency and little opportunity for Members to review, the House passed the legislation shortly after 3 a.m. local time Thursday. The Senate will vote on the legislation next.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released the following statement:

“Our language ensuring fair treatment for our veterans had broad, bipartisan support and passed both Chambers—it’s outrageous that it was removed. To add insult to injury, the legislation was released in the middle of the night, not even giving Members of the House an opportunity to review the language before voting on it. This isn’t right for our veterans, or the American people. We will keep fighting to make sure our wounded warriors have equal treatment and the ability to consult with their VA medical providers about medical marijuana as a treatment option.”

U.S.: House Removes Restrictions Preventing Veterans Access To Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed an amendment to the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill led by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon to make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana.

The amendment had bipartisan support and was co-sponsored by Representatives Joe Heck (R-NV), Sam Farr (D-CA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Dina Titus (D-NV), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), and Jared Polis (D-CO). It passed by 233-189.

“One of the greatest tragedies of our time is our failure to adequately deal with the needs of our veterans returning home with wounds both visible and unseen," Representative Blumenauer said. "Giving them access to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option to deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average.

U.S.: Blumenauer To Offer Veterans Equal Access Amendment For Medical Marijuana

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Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon this week will offer an amendment to make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana, when the U.S. House of Representatives considers the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a veteran’s participation in a state medical marijuana program. This forces veterans out of the VA system to seek a simple recommendation for treatment for eligible conditions as granted to them by state laws.

Rep. Blumenauer’s amendment ensures that no funds made available to the VA can be used to implement this prohibition, which would, in effect, strike it down.

“It’s wrong and unfair to force our veterans outside of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option," said Congressman Blumenauer. "And, our VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer such a recommendation if they think it may meet the needs of their patient.”

Nevada: Information Session Set For Seniors and Veterans on Medical Marijuana

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The Grove’s Medical Director Dr. Sue Sisley, nationally recognized cannabis expert, discusses treating ailments & diseases with medical cannabis

Dr. Sue Sisley, renowned medical cannabis researcher and expert, will lead an information session on medical cannabis and its potential for treating a variety of ailments and diseases. This discussion will take place on Thursday, April 7, at the Pahrump Senior Center.

“Information will be presented to seniors and veterans who want to learn about the benefits of medical marijuana, especially if they have a condition that could make them eligible," Dr. Sue Sisley said. "We will also provide resources for obtaining your medical marijuana card.”

Dr. Sisley is the medical director for The Grove. She is also a member of the Nevada state medical marijuana commission (ILAC). Her 20-year work with veterans has been noted as groundbreaking. She is the SITE principal investigator for the only FDA-approved research using whole plant medical cannabis, which studies the risk and benefits of cannabis for combat veterans with treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Karma Holistic Health Foundation will be on site to walk applicants through the process of getting a medical marijuana card. This session is free and open to the public.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Pahrump Senior Center
1370 W Basin Ave.
Pahrump, Nevada 89060

Colorado: Military Veteran Gives Away Free Marijuana To Fellow Vets For PTSD

MilitaryVeteransPTSDMarijuana[KottonmouthKings]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Colorado Springs cannabis club headed by a military veteran is handing out free marijuana to other veterans, hoping to give them relief from issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for chronic pain they suffer after returning home from war zones.

The Veteran Farmers Alliance over the weekend gave away more than a half-pound of weed, along with cannabis edibles, worth about $1,400, to veterans at the Dab Lounge, reports RT.com. Founder Steve Defino said other groups should be doing the same thing, and that cannabis was essential for him to deal with his PTSD, which he has battled for more than a decade.

Defino said he was prepared to spend nearly 20 times the amount he spent on Saturday at a followup event planned for Veteran's Day in November, reports Andrew Blake at The Washington Times.

“I’ve seen other organizations operate, and I’m not very happy with the way they do it,” Defino said in an interview with KXRM. “They need to be donating more and doing more to show these guys that they actually care.”

“I’ve been able to actually go through my memories, recall my memories without getting upset anymore, and I’m starting to live my life again like a normal person,” Defino said.

U.S.: Veterans Increasingly Turning To Marijuana For PTSD Relief

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More and more states and considering allowing military veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana for relief. But many veterans aren't waiting for permission.

Military veterans are increasingly using medicinal cannabis, although it remains illegal in most states and is frowned upon by the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports the Associated Press.

Marijuana does a lot better managing anxiety, insomnia and nightmares than the harsh pharmaceuticals approved by the federal government and handed out by the VA, according to many former members of the military. Prescription drugs such as Zoloft and Klonopin are often ineffective and make them feel like zombies, many veterans said.

"I went from being an anxious mess to numbing myself with the pills they were giving me," said 39-year-old former Marine Mike Whiter of Philadelphia, where marijuana is still illegal. "Cannabis helped me get out of the hole I was in. I started to talk to people and get over my social anxiety."

After Andy Zorn got home from serving with the Army in Iraq, he suffered from PTSD and self-medicated with cannabis. The VA diagnosed him with "marijuana dependence" as well as depression and bipolar disorder, according to his mother, Sally Schindel of Prescott, Arizona.

U.S.: Congressman Blumenauer Says Medical Marijuana Could Solve Opioid Epidemic

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U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) on the House floor Wednesday, addressed the serious opioid abuse epidemic across America, highlighting medical marijuana as an alternative to highly addictive prescription opioids in treating chronic pain.

In his remarks, Congressman Blumenauer called for further reforms to our medical marijuana laws, including making sure our Veterans – who are frequently prescribed opioids – are able to discuss medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option with their Veterans Administration providers in states where it is legal.

Rep. Blumenauer on Feb. 3 reintroduced H.R. 667, the Veterans Equal Access Act, to address this and will once again offer it as an amendment during consideration of the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill this year.

“Last night, ‘Frontline’ on PBS had a compelling documentary on the opioid and heroin epidemic," Rep. Blumenauer said. "We’re now seeing politicians diving in – governors across the country sounding the alarm. It’s being featured by presidential candidates of both parties.

U.S.: Members of Congress Tell VA To Allow Veterans Medical Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A broad group of legislators from both parties on Wednesday sent a letter to the Veterans’ Administration (VA) demanding a change in policy to allow veterans to access medical marijuana. Currently, veterans are prevented from having full conversations about medical marijuana with VA doctors, and the same VA physicians are prohibited from recommending medical marijuana, even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

“Vets have served their country, and the least we can do is give them the care they require,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “It is shameful that the VA prevents veterans from accessing a treatment for pain relief and PTSD.”

“Current VA policy is doing a disservice to veterans by preventing their doctors from exploring all possible treatment options," said Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "We trust VA physicians to prescribe painkillers and other prescription drugs that are far more addictive and infinitely more lethal. Why can’t we trust them to recommend medical marijuana to the patients who they believe could benefit from it?

Texas: Veterans Gather At State Capitol To Launch 'Operation Trapped' Supporting Medical Marijuana

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At Veterans Day event, Air Force, Army, and Navy veterans urge state officials to pass legislation allowing access to medical marijuana — a safer alternative to many prescription drugs — for PTSD, TBI, and other service-related conditions

Texas veterans and their supporters on Wednesday -- Veterans Day -- gathered in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol to announce the launch of a campaign advocating for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.

Operation Trapped, backed by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is a veteran-based campaign to build support for legislation allowing access to medical marijuana — a safer alternative to prescription drugs — for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, and other service-related conditions.

“Veterans have sacrificed greatly to serve and protect our nation,” said David Bass of Killeen, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom II. “It’s time to serve and protect the many soldiers who have returned home with debilitating conditions that would benefit greatly from medical marijuana. The goal of this campaign is to give those veterans a voice and get Texas legislators to listen.”

At the event, the campaign displayed several empty prescription pill bottles it has collected from supportive Texas veterans to represent those who are suffering from serious medical conditions that could be relieved by medical marijuana.

D.C.: Veterans To Rally At The White House Wednesday For Medical Marijuana

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This Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, veterans and activists will gather to walk from the Veteran’s Affairs Headquarters down Pennsylvania Avenue to the gates of the White House where they will be disposing of thousands empty prescription pill bottles collected from their brothers and sisters across the country in memory of those whose sacrifices did not end on the battlefield.

With the current veteran suicide rate at 22 per day, it is time for the VA to recognize alternate forms of war trauma treatment for our veterans.

"Join us tomorrow at the White House gates to witness firsthand the cause that veterans, their families, and advocate associations alike are fighting for," said event organizer, world-renowned cannabis expert and veterans' rights activist Garyn Angel.

Angel will lead thousands of United States veterans and several national veterans’ organizations during the march.

Where: The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

When: Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11
Walk to begin at 12 pm (noon)

Texas: Veterans To Gather At Capitol On Veterans Day To Demand Medical Marijuana

TrappedByMalachiMuncy[Facebook]

Texas Veterans to Gather at State Capitol on Veterans Day to Launch ‘Operation Trapped;’ Group Wants Legal Access to Medical Marijuana — a Safer Alternative to Many Prescription Drugs — for PTSD, TBI, and Other Service-related Conditions

News Conference Wednesday at 1 p.m. CT in front of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument

Veterans are beginning a collection of supportive veterans’ prescription pill bottles to highlight the need for legal access to medical marijuana

Texas veterans and their supporters will gather in front of the Vietnam Veterans Monument at the Texas State Capitol at 1 p.m. CT on Wednesday, November 11, Veterans Day, to announce the launch of Operation Trapped. The monument is located on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds near the corner of 14th Street and Brazos Street.

Operation Trapped, backed by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is a veteran-based campaign intended to build support for legislation allowing access to medical marijuana — a safer alternative to prescription drugs — for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, and other service-related conditions.

U.S.: Veterans To Gather For Cannabis PTSD Treatment Awareness

Weed4WarriorsProject[Weed4WarriorsProject.org]

The 2nd Annual Cannaball Run for Vets, supporting cannabis PTSD treatment, will begin on Oct. 17 in L.A.

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Did you know that 20 percent of America’s suicides are committed by Veterans? Did you know that more than 300,000 veterans are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Did you know veterans are typically prescribed a cocktail of six or more psychoactive medications to treat PTSD? Did you know that controlled, supervised use of cannabis has been proven 300 percent more effective at treating PTSD than the medications that are currently being prescribed?

More and more of our nation’s Veterans are opting for one simple plant that is safer and – most importantly – more effective than prescription drugs. Cannabis has become the new answer, and hopefully with your help, the new normal.

For this reason, world-renowned cannabis expert Garyn Angel and his company MagicalButter, alongside the Weed For Warriors Project, are presenting this year’s Cannaball Run for Vets. The 2nd Annual Cannaball Run for Vets for cannabis PTSD treatment, a cross-country education and awareness campaign, will begin on October 17 in Los Angeles, and stop at seven major cities as it heads towards the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., for the culminating Veteran's Day event on November 11.

Pakistan: Military Conflict Threatens Marijuana Crop

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Pakistan's traditional marijuana crop, basis of its thriving hashish industry, is being threatened by Pakistan's decade-long war against terrorism and Islamist militancy.

Harvest would traditionally take place in October, and hashish production not long after that, reports Tim Craig at The Washington Post. But much of the crop in the Tirah Valley in Pakistan's tribal belt has been abandoned, and is in danger of becoming yet another casualty of the conflict.

After Taj Muhammad Afridi planted cannabis seeds in February, the Pakistani military began a series of operations in the Tirah Valley against Taliban fighters who were hiding out there. The operation forced Afridi and 250,000 other residents to leave their homes; many are still waiting to return.

"We know that our crops are still there," said Afridi, 65, who has for decades helped make stoners mellow around the world. "But I don't know what the future will be. Will the military allow this?"

U.S.: House Narrowly Defeats Increasing Veterans' Access To Medical Marijuana

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted 213-210 to defeat an amendment to increase military veterans' access to medical marijuana.

The appropriations amendment, offered by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, would have prevented the Department of Veterans Affairs from spending money to enforce a prohibition on V.A. doctors filling out medical marijuana recommendation forms in states where the drug is legal.

"While there is no single approach to aiding our nation's veterans, medical marijuana is proven to help in treating post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries frequently suffered by veterans," Blumenauer said. "States are listening to their residents on the benefits of medical marijuana, including veterans, and are changing their laws.

"It is unacceptable for our wounded warriors to be forced out of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option," Congressman Blumenauer said.

But weed-phobic throwbacks to the bad old days of the 20th Century stood in the way. "So, why in the world we we give a drug that is addictive, that is prohibited as a Schedule I, that is not accepted for any medical disease or disorder, and enhances psychosis and schizophrenia?" asked Rep. John Fleming (R-Louisiana), who, excuse my saying so, is clearly a moron.

Colorado: Group Giving Free Marijuana To Colorado Veterans

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Military veterans who use marijuana are invited to Denver on Saturday, September 20, where a pro-cannabis organization plans to host a weed giveaway for vets who want it.

The group Operation Grow4Vets will hand out marijuana and cannabis products from 11 a.m until 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Central Denver, reports Denver Nicks at Time. Total value of the products given away to each veteran who RSVPs for the event by noon on Friday will be worth more than $200, according to the group.

Non-veterans will be asked for a $20 donation at the door and will get more than $100 in marijuana products in exchange, organizers told ABC7 News Denver.

Grow4Vets' mission is to "reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose," by providing them "with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions," according to the group's website.

The event is open to the public and restricted to adults 21 and older. "Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause," Operation Grow4Vets founder and executive director Roger Martin explained.

A repeat of the event will be held in Colorado Springs next Saturday, September 27.

Colorado: Veterans Suffering From PTSD Absurdly Denied Legal Marjuana

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Veterans With PTSD Who Use Legal Marijuana in Colorado Can Lose VA Medical Care and Benefits

Legislation to Add PTSD As Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana Rejected By Colorado Legislature

A bill on Monday failed to pass the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of ‘debilitating medical conditions’ that qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation.

This timely bill (HB14-1364) would have addressed a major gap in access to medical marijuana in Colorado for veterans and all those suffering from PTSD. The bill sought to ensure that veterans won’t lose their VA benefits for following their physician’s recommendation to use medical marijuana.

On average a veteran commits suicide every hour in the United States -– and medical marijuana has been proven to reduce suicide. But Colorado veterans who use marijuana to manage their symptoms of PTSD risk losing their Veterans Administration (VA) benefits. VA policy permits veterans in compliance with their state medical marijuana law to continue to receive all their benefits and remain eligible for care in the VA medical system.

New Mexico: Campaign Launched To Improve Veterans' Access to Medical Marijuana for PTSD

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New Mexico Patients and Veterans Fighting Employment Discrimination and Stigma from Medical Professionals that Create Barriers to Medical Marijuana

July 9: US Rep. Lujan Grisham, New Mexico State Rep. Antonio Maestas, Veterans, Patients and the Drug Policy Alliance to Speak at Press Teleconference

The Drug Policy Alliance, veterans’ groups, elected officials and others are introducing a campaign to protect New Mexico’s military veterans’ legal access to medical marijuana. The Campaign is asking New Mexico to stand with veterans and their families to ask our state lawmakers, employers, and medical professionals to support efforts to ensure that when veterans come home they will have access to the medicine that works for them.

New Mexico’s medical marijuana program is considered a nationwide model. In 2007 New Mexico became the first state to develop and implement a state-licensed medical marijuana production and distribution system, and in 2009 it became the first medical marijuana state to specifically include post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition.

“This campaign has national implications, as hundreds of thousands of veterans return home from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD,” said Jessica Gelay of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “We hope that this campaign will encourage other states to ensure that their veterans receive the best care possible.”

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