The sheer number of bills introduced in the 116th Congress dealing with veterans and cannabis demonstrates both an immediate need for reform and a critical lack of progress at the VA’s current self-directed pace. Congress and the VA both have a historic responsibility to veterans that has devolved into endless rounds of delays, denials, and unfulfilled promises while veterans die at a staggering pace, day after day, year after year.
Veterans continue to play an important role throughout the ongoing development of the cannabis industry and in the fight for legal reforms. What binds those of us engaged in this work is the knowledge that what we seek to make known and accessible to every person is of tremendous benefit to the individual and society as a whole
We're excited to announce that Veterans Cannabis Coalition has been invited to testify before the House Committee on Small Business next week on issues facing veteran entrepreneurs working throughout the cannabis industry.
“Employment and effective medicines are essential to everyone's health, especially veterans who often suffer for lack of federally legal alternatives to the 'combat cocktail' of opioids, sedatives, and psychotropic drugs that are regularly prescribed,” aid Veterans Cannabis Coalition Founder & CEO, Eric Goepel.
Much more needs to be done--we need resarch faster, we need it funded, and we need it in the public interest. But we are approaching a new era of understanding psychedelics and cannabinoids as well as widespread access. We look forward to a time when all people can make choices about their health without being turned into criminals.
Two public employees, entrusted with advising the executive branch and Congress on critical healthcare issues, in less than 100 words showed themselves to be either shamefully ignorant or deliberately deceitful.
Thanks to Berkeley Patients Group for the support this Memorial Day for Veterans Cannabis Coalition and Operation EVAC. There's a lot of work to be done fighting for legalization and equal access to cannabis and with the help of the community we can go further, faster.
“The bottom line is that cannabis prohibition is killing veterans,” Goepel said, “through the stigma that prevents veterans from exploring cannabis as an alternative, through denying the medical value of cannabis and blocking research, and through criminalizing basic self-care. We need more than empty rhetoric—we need action now.”
Today, in states where it is otherwise legal, veterans in federal employment find themselves caught between using a low-risk, high-benefit treatment like cannabis and losing their job, or continuing to take addictive pharmaceuticals that have debilitating side-effects and keeping their paycheck. This flies in the face of the promise the federal government has made to every veteran to provide the best care possible. The Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act is a move in the right direction to promote veteran and public health and protect citizens from government overreach.
There have been over 100,000 veteran suicides and overdoses in the last 15 years. Millions of veterans have been prescribed, both in the VA and private health, cocktails of addictive and toxic drugs without evidence or alternatives. In their own words, veterans will tell you how cannabis has provided relief and hope when nothing else worked. If it helps veterans, it can help all Americans. The time is long past due to end this 80 year injustice and dismantle prohibition.