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Former Navy SEAL Pushes the Feds to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Former Navy Seal Fighting for Cannabis
PHOTO Wyoming National Guard


Former Navy SEAL Pushes the Feds to Legalize Medical Marijuana

Co-founder of Veterans Cannabis Project is in a unique position to change national policy.

Suffering military veterans are second only to sick children in convincing otherwise-impossible-to-please lawmakers, law-enforcement officials, and members of the general public that medical marijuana is both real and good.

Due to a particularly ugly twist of history, there are no shortage of struggling veterans in America today. More than 2.7 million soldiers, sailors, Marines, and other personnel have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 — and as of 2017, nearly 970,000 have been classified with some kind of war-related disability. If it weren’t for this ghastly toll and the relief from suicidal tendencies and opiate addiction that veterans claim cannabis provides, it is hard to imagine so many sitting U.S. senators eagerly saying that providing weed to vets is a good idea, as a vital Veterans Affairs Committee panel did recently.

But well before the “war on terror” and “PTSD” became household words, veterans were using cannabis to deal with the horror and pity of war. It was a former Air Force enlisted man named Dennis Peron who smuggled a few pounds of Thai weed back to San Francisco in his duffel bag, and Peron — the de-facto “father” of medical marijuana — would later famously say that “all use of marijuana is medical.”

And yet, not everyone who needs to listen to stories like Peron’s will do so. Messengers matter — which would explain why Nick Etten has so much value. Etten is a former Navy SEAL from the Chicago area. He served in the SEALs in the 1990s, and he has made advocating for medical marijuana his post-military calling, as the Chicago Sun-Times recently reported.

Let’s consider the context for a second. Navy SEALs are damn near unimpeachable. Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden and a former Navy SEAL is the U.S. Secretary of the Interior (a position Ryan Zinke has reached in no small part — or perhaps entirely — because he was a Navy SEAL).

Thus, Etten, who last year confounded the Veterans Cannabis Project after a career in finance, is in a unique position to affect policy. This is not to take anything away from the myriad veteran-founded, veteran-funded and veteran-geared cannabis access projects. Far from it. It is, however, to point out the perhaps sad fact that a bunch of old white guys in suits — that is: federal lawmakers — are going to give more time and space to another older white guy in a suit, and Etten fits that bill.

Handily, he’s also a Republican. And with a Republican-controlled Congress with Republican committee chairmen blocking cannabis reform, “we’ve gotta change the minds of Republicans,” Etten told the newspaper.

So Etten is the right person to show up in Congress to tell committee hearings that veterans have a suicide rate 22 percent higher than other Americans and that they are twice as likely to die from the kind of accidental drug overdose that is now the leading cause of death among all Americans. He is the right person to remind committee hearings that 82 percent of American veterans want medical-marijuana legalized nationally. Not the only right person — but messengers and packages matter, and people like Etten — who are exactly the kind of people the lawmakers blocking vital marijuana reform like to emulate and to court, are ready-made for the mission.

TELL US, are you a veteran?



  1. Steve

    July 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

    HooYah – Need more to come to the round-table and be the advisor’s as WE understand more than most the pro’s and con’s of Medical Cannabis. As a former US NAVY combat veteran and current P/T Disabled Vet recent case against my person (05/2018) from a High Profile 3 year legal battle as a targeted cultivator whom won his case though continues to have the highest grade of scrutiny all because of Cannabis and due in part I have personally proved the cause and effect cannabis has with bone mass regeneration, spatial gains, sleep, memory allocation and order…..list goes on and on.

    On the record I have the VA Healthcare and Private Sector ie: Kaiser Permanente ; and other medical specialist whom all defer to myself as the best form of treatment currently available, that being said: the full spectrum of cannabinoids THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, THCV, terpenes, flavanoids/anthocyanin, and so forth.

    This being extracted in a non-invasive means via sonication and thus concentration of the above mentioned put together in a means that when applied properly will bind to CB1, CB2, 3-10, GPR55, this mapped in real-time with MRI f-MRI and other tools would show how this Synergistic combined molecules interact with the human ECS and therefore create the mind/mental, body/physical, soul/emotional/spiritual pyramid. This all together allows us beings to facilitate ourselves at the highest order.

    We continue to push the envelope with genetics and light alongside nutrition, etc – as a patient of cannabis I have removed myself from a cocktail of pills at a total once of 15+ different medicines I now am on 1 migraines (Immatrex) and cannabis.

    Remove 95% of the pills from the market today and replace with Cannabis. Modern Day Medicine that works better than anything we have ever synthesized ;-)~

    Dr. Feelgood et al.

  2. Steven Cummings

    July 12, 2018 at 5:42 am

    I am a Navy Veteran, a Hospital Corpsman to be exact, and I firmly believe that cannabis should be available to all veterans who have an ailment whether physical or psychological. I have used cannabis both recreationally and medically.

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