Veterans And Marijuana Are Still At War, What Veterans Need to Know

Veteran organizations and cannabis brands team up to combat the opioid epidemic and the growing suicide rate among military veterans and first responders. 

Premium cannabis brand Sherbinskis just announced its partnership with the non-profit organization, No Vet Alone. Sherbinskis was founded by celebrated cannabis breeder Mario Guzman, better known as Mr. Sherbinski. Guzman is a notable grower and creator of world-famous genetics such as Sunset Sherbert and Gelato. 

No Vet Alone is focused on suicide prevention by combining peer support, technology, functional medicine, and community action. Under this strategic partnership, the two entities will collaborate to raise awareness for the role cannabis has played in bringing relief to veterans and first responders. No Vet Alone members during the opioid epidemic and the growing suicide rate among military veterans and first responders.  

“We are elated to welcome Mario, a visionary in the cannabis industry, aboard with No Vet Alone. The opioid epidemic is still very real. Cannabis provides an effective and healthier substitute for opioids and prescription drugs. Sherbinskis has made a name for itself in the veteran community because of Mario’s good work, and we look forward to continuing that together,” said John Wordin, Founder and Chairman of No Vet Alone.

As veterans worldwide struggle with mental health and the opioid epidemic, suicide rates, unfortunately, continue to rise. Research shows as many as twenty veterans lose their lives every day to suicide. Cannabis advocates believe legal cannabis will offset these issues. As part of the alliance between Sherbinskis and No Vet Alone, researchers will be able to determine suitable strains to best therapeutically aid a variety of mental health conditions.

Several states in the U.S. have approved the use of cannabis for medical and recreational use. The federal law classifies cannabis as a Schedule One Controlled Substance. This makes it challenging for veterans to navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs. Although, according to the VA offices, veterans participating in a state marijuana program will not affect eligibility for VA care and services. The gray area leaves veterans to face several challenges when it comes to cannabis. VA employees are still subject to drug testing, and many lucrative federal jobs also become off-limits.

As medical marijuana increases in popularity to treat pain and other ailments, well-known veteran organizations such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars prioritize research legislation. Former service members have quickly risen to the top in local cannabis communities by forming marijuana advocacy groups such as Weed for Warriors, Veterans Cannabis Project, VetsLeaf, Veterans Cannabis Coalition, and Veterans Cannabis Group. Beyond informing veterans what they need to know, these organizations provide everything from education, safe access, information on VA benefits and resources. As well as the opportunity to work with other veterans in the cannabis space. As cannabis normalizes, the federal government could be looking to improve the federal cannabis policy for veterans. U.S. military veterans from diverse backgrounds have testified before Congress about the need to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research into medical marijuana benefits.

Infographic information taken from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Featured image via Dallas Observer.