Veterans, Cannabis, and Pain
Nearly 60 percent of veterans returning from serving in the Middle East and more than 50 percent of older veterans receiving care at the VA are living with some form of chronic pain.
We have lost more than 60,000 veterans to suicide over the last ten years, and veterans’ rate of overdose deaths from opioids increased by 65% over the last four.
Research has shown that cannabis can be beneficial for treating a wide range of disorders that veterans commonly deal with, including pain management and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Research also suggests that many veterans use cannabis as a safer replacement for opioids, alcohol, and other drugs. According to BoulderWeekly.com, states that have legalized medical cannabis have a nearly 25 percent lower mean annual opioid overdose death rate compared to states that have not.
Today, 15 states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis for all adults and medical patients, and another 20 states have legalized cannabis for medical use only.
That means a majority of the people in our country can use cannabis, while veterans in states where it is illegal, who could benefit greatly, are denied access due to federal laws.
This Veterans Day, cannabis consumers can be an advocate and ally, serving those who have served our country in a variety of ways:
Shop at Veteran-Owned Businesses like Berkeley Patients Group
Meet our Co-Owner and Vice President of Berkeley Patients Group, Etienne Fontan.
Since 1991, Etienne has been an advocate for veterans’ right to access cannabis, working behind the scenes in DC to craft legislation that expands research and alters the VA’s policy on medical cannabis use.
Etienne is a combat veteran of the Gulf War, a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Veterans for Peace. He is a mentor and member of the Veterans Action Council, which is currently lobbying Congress to de-schedule cannabis and re-open the Federal Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program through the VHA, and the Veterans Cannabis Coalition, which identifies, organizes, and trains veteran leaders in key states to effectively engage, and hold accountable, elected representatives.
Buy Veteran-Owned Cannabis Products
Co-founded in California in 2014, Valhalla Confections rapidly gained popularity as one of the most consistently dosed, best tasting, and fast-acting gummies on the market.
These Veteran-owned gummies are available in 3 flavor varieties: Watermelon, Tangerine, and Tropical Twist. Valhalla’s great tasting, long-lasting gummies are dosed precisely to have the same effect every time.
Introduce a Veteran to Services at BPG
Discount for Veterans
We are proud to offer a 15% discount for veterans over 65, and a 10% discount for all veterans. As always, we offer free, personalized consultations via phone or in-store, and a variety of low-cost products.
Operation EVAC Meetings
Operation EVAC (Educating Veterans About Cannabis) is a 90-minute social support group led by Ryan Miller, a combat veteran and former employee of Berkeley Patients Group.
Participants heal through story-sharing, guided meditation, volunteer community projects, and donated cannabis medicine.
Meetings are hosted online every Monday and Wednesday, from 6:30-8 pm PST, and every Saturday from 10-11:30 am PST. Join on Mondays and Wednesdays at https://tinyurl.com/opevacmw. Join on Saturdays at https://tinyurl.com/opevacsat.
If you, or a veteran you know, are interested in joining Operation EVAC meetings, please send an email to Ryan@opevac.org.
Support Veteran-Led Organizations working to Expand Access to Cannabis, Community, and Capital
Support The Battle Brothers Foundation
The current resources designed to aid veterans transitioning from military service to civilian life provide only minimal guidance toward obtaining success, which often leads to struggles in searching for a new sense of direction, purpose, and identity. These issues can ultimately lead to self-induced isolation that is detrimental to veteran success.
The Battle Brothers Foundation pairs transitioning veterans with mentors and creates interdependent relationships within local communities to prevent isolation.
The Foundation also partners with veteran-led organizations that provide employment opportunities, helping veterans apply their strong moral principles and leadership skills to demanding work environments, resulting in a superior work atmosphere.
And, Battle Brothers has partnered with NiaMedic for their first study evaluating the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the stressors of posttraumatic stress management, the third group in North America to conduct such research.
You can make a difference in a veteran’s life by pledging a donation to Battle Brothers Foundation on their website or at myBPG.com/shop, and/or joining their team of dedicated volunteers. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support the Veterans Action Council
Veterans Action Council is a collective group of veterans, advocates, and organizations that wish to bring real change for the veteran community.
Veterans Action Council (VAC) is a group of venerated professionals in their respective fields, committed to setting higher standards of care for the veteran community nationwide.
As equals, each member of the council brings a unique perspective and a wealth of lived experience both in and out of service. Their mission is to ensure safe and affordable access to natural medicine and alternative therapies to veterans. Reach out and get involved today: email@example.com.
Thank a Veteran
Reach out and offer a helping hand, a listening ear, and an open heart. To those still with us, we thank you for your service. To those no longer with us, we thank you for your sacrifice.