While America's legal marijuana enthusiasts are taking time this week to mark 4/20, the national holiday that celebrates all things cannabis, the Portland, Oregon chapter of Grow For Vets is preparing for the group's latest cannabis give-away event, in the hope of bringing positive changes to Veterans' lives.
On Sunday, April 24th, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PDT, Grow For Vets will be giving away free cannabis gift bags to its members - as well as Veteran non-members and civilians - who register online for the event at GrowforVetsOregon.org.
The give-away, at Portland's Refuge PDX center, is just the latest in a series of national events organized by Grow For Vets and meant to draw attention to the dilemma of America's military Veterans. Many of those Veterans are returning home with a variety of physical and emotional injuries suffered during their military service; and a growing number of vets are demanding they be allowed access to cannabis as part of their treatment.
Roger Martin, a U.S. Army Veteran and the group's founder and executive director, says there's a large body of research that shows cannabis can be a safe and effective alternative to the lethal combinations of prescription drugs that the Veterans Administration (VA) currently gives out to Veterans who are trying to cope with chronic pain, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other life-changing conditions.
In a 2012 report, the VA estimated that 22 Veterans were dying daily from suicide. But Martin believes that number is far too low.
"We have more like 50 American heroes dying every day," he says, "when you consider both prescription drug overdose and suicide. And most of those men and women who are killing themselves do so because they're taking up to 20 or more prescription drugs a day - and they're so damned depressed they just give up all hope."
Martin says events like the one scheduled in Portland are also meant to raise public awareness, "regarding the outrageous conduct of government bureaucrats and politicians who are allowing the VA to neglect and abuse those who have sacrificed so much for us."
At the same time he is calling on Veterans to band together, "like we did when we were in the service," to help bring about the changes needed; and to help make cannabis a legal and accepted part of a Veteran's medical treatment.
Grow For Vets asks that all participants planning to attend the give-away bring a valid, government-issued identification. Veterans should also have their VA identification card, DD214 document or other government-issued ID showing their status as Veterans. Oregon-based Veterans will receive free admission to the event while Oregon civilians are welcome to attend with a $20 donation.
Grow for Vets also accepts donations of cannabis -- in the form of flower, shake, seeds, trim, glass, special event tickets, and other non-cannabis products -- through its local chapters in states where cannabis has been legalized.
More information about the event and online registration go to: GrowForVetsOregon.org
About Grow for Vets USA
Grow for Vets USA is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Colorado, with chapters throughout the country. We are also a 501(c) (19) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization.
Our mission is to help save the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose. We provide Veterans with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own cannabis for treatment of their medical conditions. Since our founding in January 2014, Grow for Vets USA has given away more than $750,000 worth of cannabis to American heroes.
We are also working to raise awareness by enlisting the public's aid and support in ensuring that all injured, ill and wounded Veterans receive the respect and dignity of life that they deserve.
Grow for Vets USA's medical cannabis related activities are conducted only within jurisdictions allowing such activities. All cannabis and cannabis-related products distributed by Grow for Vets USA are grown and manufactured within the state in which they are distributed.
For more information about our organization and a listing of current chapters, please visit: http://www.growforvets.org/
Source: Grow for Vets USA