The group was founded in January and has focused its efforts on adding PTSD to the list of qualifying ailments for medical marijuana in the state. A bill that would have added the condition to the state’s list was voted down, three times, most recently last month.
Grow4Vets relies on donations from growers. Once received, the marijuana is then tested, packaged and distributed to veterans completely free of charge. The group has also obtained space to grow it’s own marijuana and is actively looking for space to expand its gardens.
According to the Grow4Vets site, the need for safe access to medical cannabis for veterans is urgent:
“It is an unfortunate fact that many of the men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our way of life suffer so much physical and emotional pain.
“The VA has made great strides in its overall care of veterans in the last few years. But there still are major hurdles for the VA to clear… approximately 10,000 more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans currently pour into VA medical facilities each month. Upward of 20 percent of these veterans suffer from PTSD. Some 40 percent of post-9/11 veterans diagnosed with PTSD are still not receiving the benefits that they are entitled to. Overall, suicides now outnumber combat fatalities by a ratio of more than 25-to-1.”
The same page cites several tragic reports of veterans being prescribed a deadly cocktail of narcotics, including a 30-year-old veteran, later interviewed by Fox News, who was sent to 13 different psychiatrists. He was prescribed 25 different drugs, with damaging side effects.
Another report by the same network interviewed the sister of a veteran who had died of a drug overdose after VA doctors prescribed Adderall, Klonopin, Seroquel and 15 other powerful psychiatric drugs.
“Last year, the Pentagon spent more on pills, injections and vaccines than it did on Black Hawk helicopters, Abrams tanks, Hercules C-130 cargo planes and Patriot missiles — combined,” the Statesman reported.
With these staggering statistics and stories in mind, Grow4Vets aims to use medical cannabis as a rational alternative to the current and potentially deadly standards of combining prescription medications.
According to VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System spokesman Dan Warvi as reported on the Westword, the VA will not disqualify veterans from benefits if they use marijuana.
Veterans looking to apply for benefits with Grow4Vets may find the application here.
Are you or someone you know a veteran suffering from PTSD who is using marijuana? Tell us in the comments below!