Tags: Marijuana Legalization | veterans | marijuana | Colorado

Free Pot Said to Help Colorado Veterans Cope with PTSD

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 12:46 PM

Approximately 1,000 veterans showed up at a marijuana giveaway event at a Colorado Springs hotel Saturday, and event organizers say that's only the beginning.

"We've helped hundreds," Roger Martin, the executive director and co-founder of Operation Grow4Vets, told Fox News. "We've just launched a program called Save1000Vets, which will allow us to give veterans a twice-a-day dose of cannabis for life or for as long as they need it so they can have a morning dose and an afternoon dose."

It wasn't exactly a "stoner" party — those attending received a goody bag of cannabis oil, a cannabis-infused chocolate bar and marijuana seeds to grow on their own, the Gazette reported.

Effective in January, Colorado began allowing marijuana for recreational use. Voters approved marijuana for medical use, with a prescription, in 2000.

Martin told the Gazette: "We're not about getting people high," but rather, the group believes marijuana to be an effective treatment for post-combat PTSD, anxiety and chronic pain and wants to give veterans easy access to the drug. The group gave away $60,000 worth of cannabis products and plans three more giveaway events this year.

"Most of the veterans that we help tell us that cannabis is the only thing that helps them with PTSD. None of the dangerous prescription medications that they have been prescribed by the VA helped them at all," Martin told Fox News.

Army vet Matt Kahl, injured in Afghanistan and using marijuana to cope with chronic pain, told the Gazette, "It doesn't make sense that our first line of defense is toxic medication. I would not be alive without this (cannabis)."

Asked whether many of the veterans are simply using the marijuana to get high, Martin told Fox, "I see a lot of these veterans face to face and I'm sure that there are some that utilize cannabis for that purpose, but the old saying is that you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so we focus on the men and women that we know are getting help."

While opponents insist there is no scientific evidence that marijuana helps treat PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other conditions, Martin told Fox News that instead, he wishes opponents would tell "President Obama to just use a stroke of the pen to take cannabis off of the Schedule I substances list so that research can be done in the U.S., because the fact is, Spain and Israel are way ahead of the U.S. in cannabis research."

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Approximately 1,000 veterans showed up at a marijuana giveaway event at a Colorado Springs hotel Saturday, and event organizers say that's only the beginning.
veterans, marijuana, Colorado
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2014-46-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 12:46 PM
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