Marijuana: Operation Grow4Vets to provide free cannabis to veterans
Last week, a bill intended to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of approved conditions for treatment by medical marijuana failed in the Colorado legislature-- a decision one advocate called "shameful."
The profile pic on the Operation Grow4Vets Facebook page. More images below.
Roger Martin agrees. He's the executive director of Operation Grow4Vets, a new project intended to provide cannabis for veterans as an alternative to prescription narcotics. The price? Free.
Martin, 61, is a Vietnam-era army veteran who also worked in civilian law enforcement during the early years of his career before going into private business. He's now retired, and he says his experience dealing with treatment for medical conditions dating to his stint in the service and beyond informed him about the medical benefits of marijuana.
"I've always been very anti-drugs my entire life," he allows. "So years ago, when I was given Oxycontin for pain, and also Ambien, I realized I was probably headed down a dead-end street. Then, I met a doctor who gave me another drug, Suboxone, that she'd successfully used to get rich kids off heroin. But she didn't tell me it would take twelve to eighteen months to wean myself off everything -- and when I did it in five-and-a-half weeks, I wound up in the hospital.
An image from the Operation Grow4Vets website.
"After that, another doctor suggested I try marijuana, and it made a huge difference not just for me, but for a lot of people. I met cancer patients who had remarkable transformations of physical appearance and overall health after they started using marijuana instead of narcotics."
More recently, Martin came into contact with "a lot of younger vets who were coming back from overseas with TBI [traumatic brain injuries] and PTSD and a lot of emotional issues -- and some of them were taking ten or twelve different drugs the VA prescribed every day. And that got me to thinking: Everybody's trying to make a buck on marijuana -- but what if we tried to do something to help these veterans for free?"
Continue for more about Operation Grow4Vets.