Ilera Healthcare To Host Free Screening Of Award-Winning Veteran MMJ Documentary ‘Unprescribed’

November 15th Screening In Plymouth Meeting, PA

PENNSYLVANIA: Pennsylvania medical marijuana company and dispensary, Ilera Healthcare, will host a free screening of Unprescribed, followed by a panel discussion, on Friday, November 15th at 6:30 pm at Greater Plymouth Community Center in Plymouth Meeting.  The documentary film highlights medical marijuana (MMJ) as an alternative to the cocktail of drugs prescribed by military doctors for veterans struggling with PTSD, anxiety and other service-related health issues.

For many of our returning veterans, the battle continues out of uniform as they attempt to recover from war-related trauma through a multitude of prescription medicines.  In his first feature-length motion picture, producer, director, and Air Force veteran Steve Ellmore presents us with stories from fellow veterans, spouses, and family members on coping with war-related injuries and the loss of loved ones due to suicide. After returning from combat these veterans are prescribed what many refer to as the ‘combat cocktail’ or ‘zombie dope,’ leading many to believe that suicide is a possible solution to their pain.  The film takes a closer look at medical marijuana, which could provide a safer alternative for many returning soldiers. Unprescribed has recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Film at the Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival, Best Feature Documentary at the 2019 Cannabis Culture Film Festival, and was theBe the Change Winner at the Colorado International Activism Film Festival.  Unprescribed is also an official selection at the 2019 London Cannabis Film Festival, San Francisco Veterans Film Festival, and Honor Film Festival.   

At the conclusion of the screening, Ellmore will join Ilera’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Oludare Odumosu ,  clinical psychiatrist Dr. Lynn Bornfriend, Ron Milward of Balanced Veterans, Bill Ferguson of Veteran Cannabis Coalition, and veteran advocate and social media influencer Derek Carter on a panel to further explore MMJ as it pertains to easing the physical and mental pain of those returning from the armed forces. 

Also featured on the panel will be Christian Ryan, an MMJ advocate and US Army combat veteran, who served in Iraq. Besides advocating for veterans to have access to MMJ through his founding of the Veterans Medical Marijuana Advisory Council (V.M.M.A.C.), Christian, who is employed at Ilera, inspired the development of the company’s new  FREEDOM medical cannabis formulation.  

Greater Plymouth Community Center is located at 2910 Jolly Road in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.  To reserve free tickets to the Unprescribed screening and panel Q&A please visit.  

Vets & Cannabis: LTC(R) Todd Scattini- TheHempColonel Remarks At Emerald Science Conference

Thanks to the Emerald Sciences Conference team— Jules Sinclair, Ken Snoke, Wes Burk, and Cliff Beneventi, and Dr. John Abrams

I am so grateful for this platform. I am humbled to have the opportunity to kick off this important conference focused on the science of cannabis and the technology to facilitate its research. I’m honored to address you, the leaders in the field on this occasion.

CALIFORNIA

I love coming back to my home state of California and seeing how the bravery of activists changed cannabis policy here in 1996, which began a policy evolution across the United States and around the world. For example, it was the bravery of gay activists in California, like Denis Peron, Harvey Milk, and Richard Eastman, teaming up with Jack Herer responding to suffering brought on by the AIDS epidemic that inspired their movement. The loss and suffering of their friends was too much to bear, and they risked their freedom and reputations to come to the rescue of their comrades.

Todd Scattini on Stage

In many ways, my own life has followed the arc of cannabis policy.

I was born in 1970, the same year that Richard Nixon—another Californian—created the “war on drugs.” I was raised in the “Just Say No” generation in a law enforcement household. And in 1996, the same year that I graduated from West Point, CA was the first state to take the brave step forward to legalize medical cannabis.

And then on January 1st, 2018, I was officially retired from the Army, and my home state of CA legalized the adult use of cannabis. I now call Kansas City, MO home, and I’m proud to say that I was part of legalizing medical cannabis there, which passed by a vast majority during the November 2018 election.

As you’ve likely concluded from my bio, I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. I am now just an old soldier. At West Point, I was trained under the banner of DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY and inspired to a lifetime of service to the Nation. Much like many of you, I feel like working in the medical cannabis industry is my calling. I consider this how I continue to serve, today. Given my experiences in the Army and my understanding of the power of the cannabis plant, I believe that I have a voice to lend to this discussion and a duty to pursue safer and more effective methods of treating veterans and military personnel who suffer from wounds both visible and invisible.

As a Veteran now, I find myself part of a population in the midst of a health crisis marked by elevated levels of suicide, mental health concerns, substance abuse issues, and addiction. I cannot purport to speak for all veterans, but today I will attempt to describe the view from my foxhole.

VCP

But first, I also want to thank Doug Distaso for the great introduction, and congratulate him for being named the new Executive Director of the Veterans Cannabis Project, where I’m proud to serve as a board member and the director of the Midwest region. Doug is a 1996 USAFA graduate who served our Nation as a special operator for many years. He is now working tirelessly to bring about policy changes every day by waving our flag in Washington D.C., providing leaders with a great reason to say yes to increased research and access to medical cannabis for veterans. The VCP was founded by Nick Etten, a Naval Academy grad, and The VCP is turning out to be incredibly influential instrument in cannabis policy at the federal level. I believe it is because the creation of the VCP and the execution of what we do come from a place of great PURPOSE for us and a sense of DUTY, because we feel like we’re doing what we were trained to do—protect and care for those who have served. And because of our time as leaders in the military, we also care deeply about the families of those who serve; keeping in mind the often serious cascading effects of pain and trauma experienced in veterans’ families and the communities in which they live.

Todd at Emerald Science ConferenceCOMMANDER IN CHIEF’S TROPHY:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that West Point owns—for the second year in a row—the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. This means that Army beat both the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy this year in football. I bring this up not only to gloat but also to bring us to the football field. Part of our training at the military academies is participation in athletics. This instills in all of us a sense of the interconnectedness between competitive athletics and military action–these are ideas of struggle, tactics, and strategic engagement. And football of course has a long tradition at the academies—the Army-Navy game, first played in 1890, is one of the most traditional, enduring rivalries in college football.

General Douglas MacArthur, himself a superb athlete, while serving as Superintendent of West Point identified so clearly the relationship between competition on  the football field and combat on the battlefield. He said, “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields will bear the fruits of victory.”

In no other forum is there a clearer representation of today’s modern gladiators and warriors.

On the second Saturday every of every December, the football field is where gladiators from both Army and Navy engage in competition that will translate one day to the battlefield, where they will serve as warriors. It’s also the field where men engage in competition that is a multi-billion dollar “entertainment” industry. Professional athletes, our modern Gladiators on the football field risk their health, and arguably their lives in the long term, for our entertainment. And warriors on the battlefield do our nation’s bidding, by putting their lives on the line as part of duty to our country. Both of these populations are at high risk for suffering from long-term health issues, including chronic pain, PTSD, TBI, and CTE, just to name a few. These populations are also at extremely high risk of becoming addicted to opioids and other frequently prescribed drugs. These populations should have access to medical cannabis as an option.

I believe that we are in a position to change the lives of veterans, football players, men and women affected by

these debilitating medical conditions. And indeed we have an ethical duty to do so.

So, How does an Army Colonel get involved in cannabis?

In Afghanistan, I served  on the Commander’s Initiatives Group, which is an interdisciplinary team comprised of diplomats, military personnel, and civilians tasked with providing strategic advice to the Coalition Commander.

Among many other things, we were asked to develop innovative solutions to transform the Afghan economy using the country’s available natural resources. I proposed the use of hemp as an element of the Afghan economy to provide a replacement to the widespread cultivation of opium. An additional benefit of this plan would have been the cross-pollination of hemp and cannabis, thereby reducing the amount of THC in the hashish crops they grew to sell in prohibition markets for exorbitant profits. My recommendation fell on deaf ears, because, although I served for incredibly intelligent and talented leaders, this was still a bit “out there.”

But it was there, in Afghanistan, where I became so interested in everything revolving around cannabis. I had never found a subject more fascinating on so many levels. Its history in the United States charts a path beginning with the devastating Social Justice implications of our prohibition of this plant rooted in racism, greed, and often illogical, fear-mongering, and uninformed political arguments.

The social justice impacts alone, coupled with the  potential health impacts on our society, merit focus and the concentrated efforts of the entire global community. This includes international organizations, federal, state and local governments, as well as academic institutions. Our future must focus on the as-yet untapped transformative possibilities that this plant has to offer.

As states begin to legalize adult use of marijuana, we’re beginning to see positive outcomes in Job Creation, Revenue Generation, and increased Research opportunities. We are building an industry from the underground up. It is amazing to watch, as many of you are already doing, what it looks like when we apply modern scientific tools and techniques to a plant we’ve been unable to study for far too long. So, I am very excited to hear many of your findings over the next two days.

Today, we find ourselves in a position to facilitate meaningful research and then to amplify the medical outcomes of cannabis. By creating opportunities for interdisciplinary, multinational collaborative groups, we can synchronize research agendas. And with the support of powerful partners in the federal arena, including but not limited to the DoD, and in national, influential institutions like the NFL, we can make visible the results of this research.

And I believe that this conference, with the incredible roster of scientists leading sessions on significant topics such as cannabis genomics and chemotyping, genetic sequencing, standards and practices, pharmacological strategies, cultivation, extraction, and processing, and emerging research trends and findings, to name just a few, , are so vital to forward progress and to what I see as our ethical responsibility, our DUTY, to our planet and our fellow human beings.

Before I left the military, I struggled, at first, to see how my skill sets might translate to the industry. But I realize that the skill sets that I am deploying in the cannabis space were the same ones that were developed in me in the military. While serving, I was trained to lead soldiers in combat, and I was trained in the art of diplomacy. In the military we have been told that our only limit was our imagination and that we have to think critically about complex issues and develop creative solutions to apply to them.

There are few issues facing our country that are more complex than that of veteran suicide and our Nation’s opioid crisis. The two combined result in the death of nearly 12,000 veterans annually. Beyond that, opioid overdoses cost the lives of almost 70,000 American civilians last year, resulting for the third year in a row, in a decline in the life expectancy of American citizens.

Now, THAT is a national emergency. Cannabis can help reverse this situation. This is no longer an assumption. This is what we know from experience in 33 states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes.

Even the FDA holds several patents on cannabinoids as a neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. This triad comprises, ironically, the three things that would be most useful to combat Traumatic Brain Injuries, what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA) has called “The Signature Wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.”

My passion project is The Athena Protocol.

I’ve named this project after the Greek goddess, Athena, who is the goddess of military victory, knowledge, and good counsel. And, her helmet is prominently displayed on the crest of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Athena Protocol

The Athena Protocol is a four-phased, multi-disciplinary strategy designed to mitigate and treat traumatic brain injury (TBI). And, we believe it may have the same application to prevent and treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The Protocol seeks to harness the neuroprotective, anti-oxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties of non-impairing cannabinoids administered as a prophylaxis and a treatment through a phased program prior to and following a brain injury, which would include administration on the battlefield immediately following a suspected TBI, at the point of injury.

The development of this Protocol was inspired by the loss of one of my Lieutenants who had served under my command.

Captain Andrew Houghton, from Houston, Texas was an exceptional young officer and a fellow graduate of West Point (Class of 2001). Andy threw his hat in the air on the field at Michie Stadium just months before the attacks of 9/11 on our Nation that thrust us into what is our country’s longest conflict. I last saw Andy at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where I met his parents. We pinned a purple heart on his chest, and the following day he succumbed to his traumatic brain injury sustained while serving in Iraq. My hope is that The Athena Protocol might be able to prevent or reduce the severity of TBIs, and perhaps increase the survivability of soldiers in combat. It is scientists and researchers like you who fill this room and the technology that we are all working to bring to bear on the cannabis plant that might help move research like this forward.

So, where are we now?

I’d say that we are in The Adaptive Space. This is a concept we train our officers on at the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. It’s based on Michael Arena’s groundbreaking work that leads organizations to become more agile and to embrace disruptive forces as positive accelerators. Cannabis is that disruptive force.

The Adaptive Space exists in between and intersecting the Entrepreneurial and the Operational realms of leadership. In short, the Adaptive Space is the space that exists between the prohibition period, where research was stifled (an understatement) to a place where cannabinoid medicines can be prescribed with predictable outcomes. It is the place where we will soon get to apply the most complex plant that we know of at some of the worlds most complex health issues.  In this space–if people collaborate freely with parallel objectives–real growth happens and true organic innovation emerges.

In order to develop a deeper understanding of how cannabinoid medicine might be applied to some of the most complex medical conditions of our time, we need to:

  • Reduce barriers to research
  • Develop clear protocols for cannabis
  • Create an environment to conduct research on the predictability of cannabis’ effects on the prevention and treatment of injury, illness, and disease.
  • Conduct research on dosing, which the Emerald Sciences Team is currently working toward.
  • Furthermore, we should demand that medical schools train their students on the endocannabinoid system and the most current science on cannabis.
  • Finally, I believe that the DoD is uniquely positioned as the ideal organization to lean into medical cannabis research. The veteran community represents the largest patient population in the United States. The DoD has over 1,200 health care facilities nationwide, including 170 VA Medical Centers, and over 1,000 outpatient sites of care. These serve over 9 Million enrolled veterans annually. 75% of that population have made it known that they would welcome cannabis as a treatment option.  The two largest VSOs (VFW and AL) have made demands for increased cannabis research part of their national platforms.
  • It makes sense that the military would lead this effort

The military has a long history of driving medical advances, including the discovery of penicillin, the development of plastic surgery, and the treatment of amputation. These advances were realized in response to necessity. We’re now in a moment of necessity. And we need the DoD to STEP UP, get past the stigma, and look at medical cannabis as a way to address the veterans health crisis that we’re in today. I’m confident that cannabis would become an effective tool for the military medical community to address veterans health issues, if they were to commit to understanding the full potential this plant possesses. And, I believe that we would reduce healthcare costs for our nation, as a whole.

If we focus science, technology, and minds with clear vision and purpose, we can maximize innovations in this Adaptive Space. And this must happen NOW. In the military, we spend a lot of time learning about revolutions in military affairs. That is to say how small changes or inventions change warfare. These include the advent of the stirrup that made it possible for warfare to be conducted while mounted on a horse. It is the advent of the rail lines to speed military transport. It is the invention of the computer…of the satellite. These all add to revolutions in military affairs.

Today, we are on the precipice of an authentic paradigm shift that will be seen as a true revolution in medical affairs. Even today, medical cannabis is saving people’s lives and improving the health and well-being of their families and communities. It is my goal to ensure that this happens within the veteran community, as well.

We are so lucky to be operating within the cannabis industry today, in whatever role you might be playing. While the rest of the world gets to watch the shifting of a paradigm, we get to actually guide it, shape it, direct it. We get to make it in the form of something that we can be really proud of. We can set the example for other industries to follow.

My final thought

We spend a lot of time discussing this plant, and that is for good reason. For many of us, we consider that this plant has saved our lives or the lives of someone close to us. Most of us are inspired by this plant for the bounty we believe it possesses and because we believe that it can revolutionize the way we treat patients and how it might improve the health and well-being of our species. What will make this all possible are the People. And, that is why we are gathered here, to interact with one another, and to create connections that might help us advance medical science and deepen our understanding of the cannabis plant and how to deploy it. We are here to promote collaboration among Nations, institutions, and people. I’m sure many of you have experienced the deep friendships that develop around the study of this plant…some of it even owed to the mutual communion around the cannabis plant.

One particular individual that I would like to mention was a dear friend and colleague, Steve Baugh. He spoke here last year and was a member of the Harvest 360 Team. Steve passed away suddenly just ten days ago. He was an accomplished chemist and inventor who held several patents. He was a husband and father with a genius mind. But most of all, he was our friend and a valued teammate. His passing is a great loss to the scientific community. We will miss him dearly and offer condolences to his family.

My goal for this address was to inspire this crowd by pointing out the need for greater research of cannabis and perhaps introduce you to the struggles of a the veteran population so desperately in need of safer and more effective treatments for the wounds of war. But, I believe you already know this. I think we are all well aware of the potential for cannabis to serve as a life saving medicine. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t.

In the end, I believe what I am trying to do is to inspire our country to significantly reduce the barriers to research of cannabis. I think that access to this medicine and the ability of scientists to research it should be considered a human right, and that it is our DUTY to explore it.

During a recent trip to Washington DC with the VCP, I visited the American Academy of Sciences. I went there to pick up a copy of their recent publication: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. This report provides a broad set of evidence-based research conclusions on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids and puts forth recommendations to help advance the research field and better inform public health decisions.

As I entered the building, I was immediately struck by Albert Einstein’s words that guard the entrance to the building.

He was quoted as saying:

“The right to search for truth implies also a duty;

One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”

In this, Einstein is challenging all of us to search for truth with integrity and purpose and to share that truth for the greater good.

I feel that Einstein’s quote was an appropriate way to open our proceedings this week, and I hope to harness or enlist the intellectual power and the scientific capabilities represented in this room to that end.

I cannot wait to search for truth with you and share it with the world.

I implore this group to join me and so many other veterans who are working toward this end to find solutions to address the healthcare crisis we are in today. I invite the Department of Defense and others to join us in helping facilitate research.\

I believe it is our duty to do so.

I believe we have WE HAVE SKIN IN THE GAME!

Survey: Three Of Four Military Veterans Would Consider Using Medical Cannabis

NEW YORK: Seventy-five percent of military veterans say that they would consider using either “cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option,” according to member survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). The organization represents over 400,000 veterans nationwide.

Under existing federal regulations, physicians affiliated with the Department of Veteran Affairs are forbidden from providing medical cannabis recommendations, even in jurisdictions that legally permit private practitioners to do so.

Overall, 83 percent of respondents expressed support for legalizing medical cannabis access, and 68 percent believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs “should allow for research into cannabis as a treatment option.” Proposed federal legislation to direct the agency to conduct clinical trials on the use of cannabis for PTSD and for other conditions is currently pending in the US House and Senate.

Twenty percent of veterans surveyed acknowledged having previously used cannabis for medical purposes. Other studies have estimated that as many as 41 percent of veterans acknowledge having consumed cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Available data documents that cannabis is effective in the treatment of chronic pain and may potentially mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress, along with other conditions veterans commonly face.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at: (202) 483-5500. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana and Veterans Issues.”

The American Veteran In California’s Cannabis Industry

“California Business & Professions Code §16102.  

Every soldier, sailor or marine of the United States who has received an honorable discharge or a release from active duty under honorable conditions from such service may hawk, peddle and vend any goods, wares or merchandise owned by him, except spirituous, malt, vinous or other intoxicating liquor, without payment of any license, tax or fee whatsoever, whether municipal, county or State, and the board of supervisors shall issue to such soldier, sailor or marine, without cost, a license therefor.
(Amended by Stats. 1941, Ch. 646.) “   By Joshua D. Jenkins 

Veterans in California are afforded equity treatment and this law describes how that equity is to be given. This statute has been on the books in some form since 1901, with the last amendment in 1941.

Loyal Penguin, Inc. initially found this legislation while seeking to better understand how to advance the American Veteran in the California Cannabis Industry. The initial understanding of this law is that a Veteran-owned entity that is a sales, not service, related business is not charged the fees and permits typically associated with a business startup, unless the Veteran-owned entity is in dealing with alcohol-related wares.

 

Screenshot 2018-08-21 12.49.39It is unfortunate that this equity has not been afforded as promised by law. Requests for further information from the Bureau of Cannabis Control have fallen to the deaf ears of the attorneys who fail to respond to multiple requests from multiple Veteran-owned businesses.

Why would such a barrier to entry be continued by the BCC? Do they truly believe that Veterans do not have what it takes to participate in this new industry? Or do they fail to understand basic economics, given that the revenue generated in the form of taxes will more than make up for the offset fees that Veterans are exempted from? Do they not understand the value that the Veteran Community could add to the industry?

The Veteran Community is the key to fully bringing the Cannabis Industry to the legal forefront. But why? Why is it that this community will drive Cannabis legalization to be a new-normal in modern-day America? It is not one thing specifically, but a myriad of much needed skillsets missing in today’s Cannabis space.

Veterans are individuals that are widely misunderstood , often viewed as a person trying to find his or her way back into society-at-large. Training and environmental conditions during service have altered typical mannerisms, leading many “civilians” to misidentify feelings of contempt, anger, or withdrawal. This leads to many situations where the communities, or individuals within the “Veteran” community and the “civilian” community, clash. The stereotype is of the angry, violent, and dangerous individual who is trying to stand for what they believe in; which to the untrained eye appears to be aggressive.

Civilians, as stereotyped by many veterans, are looked at as weak and undisciplined. This further empowers the Veteran to not conform to society; because weakness is frowned upon in the military. How then, do we merge these communities? We accept each other where we are at, and both communities work towards reintegration.

So, what benefit does reintegration afford? What gains can we expect to see as a society through affording Veterans a chance to truly be adopted by society? That can be described in one word: Innovation.

In the 1950s and 1960s the economic landscape was transformed through the reintegration of Veterans into their communities. Businesses worked together to create the well-recognized Golden Age of America and put teams of brave Americans on the moon. That innovation was led by businesses that were led and operated by the Veterans of World War-II and the Korean War. The disciplined mission-centric nature of these business leaders allowed for the economic advancement of our society, the likes of which we have not seen in fifty-years. Reintegrating Veterans in our workforce and creating opportunities for Veterans to succeed will create the same transformative effect on our country.

This is where the Cannabis Industry is posed to benefit from these men and women. The unique background and perspective of Veterans gives them the ability to bring the Cannabis community to a higher, more efficient and effective level and lends insight on government processes. Leaders like Jack Herer demonstrated how the Veteran community can properly use their knowledge of government systems and a service-oriented mindset to advance the freedoms associated with Cannabis. Today’s Veterans, many of whom are looking for meaningful employment where their contributions and their background are valued, are able to take this purpose as their next mission.

Veterans approach business situations as they would during times of conflict: with a “why can’t we” rather than “why we can’t” attitude. This mindset is why we, as a country, have the best military in the world and it is an attitude that is needed by every successful business. This drive and determination will assist in paving the way to the national legalization of Cannabis and is yet another reason why the Veteran community will benefit the Cannabis movement.

The inclusion of Veterans starts, however, by recognizing the reasons why equity is given to Veterans. While many civilians spent their 20s and 30s building professional networks, Veterans spent these years serving our country, many times overseas; Now, upon returning home and attempting to reintegrate, they are three to twenty years behind their civilian peers, as a result of their national service. The transition would be greatly improved by giving them the chance to come to the table in an industry associated with a high cost barrier-to-entry. This is exactly why this law exists: so Veterans are afforded opportunities to both catch up and rapidly begin utilizing their acquired skills that were gained during their service to all of us.

If you want to get involved begin by contacting Loyal Penguin, Inc. at Info@Loyalpenguin.com or the Bureau of Cannabis Control at Freda.Lin@dca.ca.gov and inquire as to why Veterans are not being afforded the equity that is already provided by law.

Cannabis Industry Ambassador-At-Large: Twenty22Many Art Auction

Twenty22Many is a Washington-based Veterans group, born out of the old Medical Marijuana Collective model that preceded recreational cannabis in Washington State.

The mission of the Twenty22Many is “By All Means Necessary – End Veteran Suicide.” Founder Patrick Saint, and other volunteer veterans are committed to raising awareness about the extremely high suicide rates among our military veterans — it is reported that 22 daily suicides occur daily in America.

Patrick and his group of Veteran volunteers turned to Washington State’s newly licensed recreational cannabis community for help. Together, they created the Twenty22Many Veteran Support Depot Program to offer vets a safe haven and access to resources.

If a veteran walks through the door of a participating retailer in need of anything, they will be given a flyer with valuable contact information on it.  Once contacted, Twenty22Many will promptly dispatch a veteran volunteer and resources to that veteran in need.  Twenty22Many Veteran Support Depot Program essentially converts participating I-502 stores into little Veteran hubs all over the state.

I grew up in a military family. Both my father and a sister served in the armed forces, and so I was especially excited to join Twenty22Many at their annual fundraiser as a guest of the founder.  The auction was held at Heylo Cannabis Extractions in Sodo Seattle.

These works are like DMT meet LSD

These works are like DMT meet LSD

The evening started off with an art auction. The featured artist was Adream, whose work is so detailed and inspiring. These works were both colorful and spiritual in some mystical way — like DMT meet LSD.

I also attended a glass blowing event earlier, hosted by Weekend Unlimited, Jerome Baker Designs and Leafly. Jason Harris of JBD Glass graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and Twenty22Many for auction at the evening event.

 

Jason Harris of JBD Glass so graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and the Twenty22Many.

Jason Harris of JBD Glass so graciously donated a wonderful JBD bong to Patrick and the Twenty22Many.

I was given the extreme honor to present Patrick with a Challenge Coin. In the military, challenge coins are often offered to visiting dignitaries or guest of a unit or platoon.  This particular coin was given to me by Four-Star General “Skip” Dreps, a well-known Veterans advocate who works with the Disabled Veterans of the Pacific Northwest. General Dreps is a good friend of Jake The Professor who always jumps at the chance to help his fellow brothers in arms.

Thank you to Heylo Canbabis Extractions, the Space Shuttle, and Twenty22Many for helping us understand the needs of the veterans community and offering us an opportunity help.

Patrick Saint and Twenty22Many need our support to carry out this very important mission. I invite you to work with us to reduce suicide rates within the Veterans community.  Please reach out to Twenty22Many in Olympia to participate in this life saving program.

 

Veterans Push For A Federal Study Of Hemp In Hopes Of Stemming Opioid Prescriptions At VA Facilities

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A group of United States Armed Forces Veterans descended on the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, April 17 to meet with members of the Cannabis Caucus and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Their request is an urgent call for change in medical treatment options for Veterans: stop the dependency on opioids and compel the Veterans’ Affairs Administration to study CBD derived from industrial hemp as a legal alternative to opioids, the go-to drug in masking a variety of medical conditions.

Steve Danyluk, who spearheaded the legislative meeting with Veterans, is retired from the Marine Corps Reserves. His last position was working wounded issues at Walter Reed and Bethesda. That is where he became very troubled by what he saw.

“I witnessed what I believe is a policy of overmedicating wounded service men and women with opiates and other toxic medications, which led me to establish Warfighter Hemp,” said Steve Danyluk, LtCol, USMCR (RET.) and founder Warfighter Hemp. “CBD derived from Industrial Hemp provides much of the relief that these Veterans seek, at a fraction of the cost, without the psychoactive side effects, making it an ideal alternative to the various psychotropic and toxic medications in the VA’s dispensary. We welcomed the opportunity to share our CBD stories with legislators.”

Danyluk, along with three Veterans from Minnesota and Virginia, met with Congressman Jared Polis (D) Colorado, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D) Oregon, and representatives from the offices of combat Veteran Congressman Moulton (D) Massachuetts, Congressman Don Young (R) Alaska, and Congressman Tim Walz (D) Minnesota. The group met individually with Congressman Brian Mast (R) Florida, himself a combat Veteran, along with an aide for Congressman Scott Peters (D) Ohio.

The group requested legislators sign a letter to Acting Secretary Robert Wilke, Department of Veterans Affairs, asking him to green light a study into CBD derived from Industrial Hemp.

 

 

American Legion Supports Expanding Veterans Access To Medical Cannabis

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has adopted a resolution calling on federal officials to expand veterans’ access to medical marijuana.

The resolution, passed last week at the Legion’s annual convention, urges the “United States government to permit V.A. medical providers to be able to discuss with veterans the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recommend it in those states where medical marijuana laws exist.”

The language is similar to pending legislation in Congress, H.R. 1820: The Veterans Equal Access Act. In July, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24 to 7 to include similar language as an amendment to the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Identical language in the House was blocked from consideration by House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions(R-TX).

Last year, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 MilCon-VA bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee elected to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

Federal policy prohibits V.A. doctors – including those residing in legal medical cannabis states – from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician.

Both the American Legion and AMVETS issued public calls last year in support of federal marijuana law reforms. Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional medications to treat conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.