Showing posts with label medical marijuana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medical marijuana. Show all posts

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Veteran Green Beret with PTSD passed out instead of pulling shares something so much better

Smith didn't pull the trigger because he was so drunk and passed out

Green Beret who put a gun in his mouth while surrounded by booze at his lowest point reveals cannabis helped his crippling PTSD - and now he's selling CBD to help struggling veterans who turn to opioids
Daily Mail
18 April 2020
Adam Smith spent 17 years as a Green Beret in the US Army and special forces fighting terrorists and drug cartels in the most dangerous places on earth. But it was in a small cab in Lexington, Kentucky, where he came closest to dying - surrounded by empty bottles of booze, a suicide note and with a pistol in his mouth
Adam Smith spent 17 years as a Green Beret in the US Army and special forces
Brushes with death were common during his daring operations
But it was in a small cab in Lexington, Kentucky, where he came closest to dying
He was surrounded by booze, a suicide note and with a pistol in his mouth
Smith didn't pull the trigger because he was so drunk and passed out
Instead of using alcohol to self-medicate, he turned to cannabis and CBD
He's now launched a CBD line, Tactical Relief, for veterans and first responders
Says it helps with symptoms of PTSD and is a better alternative to the powerful opioids some struggling veterans are prescribed More than 20 veterans and active duty soldiers commit suicide a day in the US

The day after his suicide attempt he arranged to get a beer with a Navy special warfare friend who offered him a chance to train law enforcement in Ohio.

He joined a tactical training company, joined a CrossFit gym and saw his life turn around.

Then he found a solution to ease his trauma in a place he hadn’t thought possible - a cannabis dispensary in Washington state.

He was on a cross-country cycling trip with a friend who had issues with panic attacks and they stopped in.

‘I bought a little, and that night I smoked for the first time. You want to talk about eye opening? I slept better, had less anxiety, felt more at ease, didn’t have any nightmares and seemed to have an extra tick in my anger clock.’
read it here

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Years of data suggest CBD could help mitigate PTSD complications

How CBD Could Improve PTSD Symptoms For First Responders And The Military


John Mace Alois
February 26, 2020

Years of data suggest cannabidiol could help mitigate PTSD complications.

Taking care of your mental health can be a particularly challenging thing for current and former military personnel, as well as for many first responders. In fact, the vast majority of both groups report having experienced at least one traumatic event during their work. Things are so severe, some reports suggest a third of first responders have received a formal mental health diagnosis such as PTSD or depression.

Given how much our military and first responders put on the line for us every day, we owe it to them more than anyone to continually work toward new and more effective ways to mitigate their most challenging symptoms. While we still have a long way to go, the last 15 years of research has offered some significant steps forward.

Over the last couple of years, in particular, CBD has rapidly grown in popularity as a treatment option for those with a broad range of conditions. However, with so much talk about the power of CBD so fast, many pragmatic people have questioned whether it can actually produce the incredible things suggested.

That said, this growth in the CBD industry has, in large part, been spurred on by an explosion in peer-reviewed research. While CBD itself has been known for decades, it wasn’t all that long ago few people understood the potential it holds for those suffering.

What Is CBD Exactly?
CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is a specific type of cannabinoid that is entirely non-psychoactive. Generally speaking, cannabinoids are compounds typically derived from cannabis plants that interact with a specific set of receptors found throughout the body and brain. This network of receptors is known as the endocannabinoid system and is only just starting to be studied closer to uncover potential health benefits.

One thing that has long impeded the progress of CBD research is its association with THC. After all, THC is extremely well-known for being the psychoactive substance in marijuana, which elicits a “high.” This connection with what was long seen as a detrimental substance prevented a lot of peer-reviewed research from being conducted in the past. Regardless, the last decade-plus of research has come a long way in proving the value of CBD therapy to improve the lives of those living with debilitating conditions, including PTSD.

Can CBD Mitigate PTSD Symptoms?
In addition to the growing movement of people who personally advocate for the power of CBD to improve PTSD symptoms, there has been a significant amount of research highlighting this powerful effect.

For instance, a 2012 report out of NYU looked into the impact of CBD on those dealing with long-term, fear-related stress disorders, such as PTSD. The team concluded cannabidiol was able to help regulate dysfunction in the CB1 receptor, leading to much more significant fear extinction over control groups.

Other studies, including one looking directly at first responders from the World Trade Center attacks, have backed up the belief CB1 receptor function plays a vital role in controlling PTSD complications. The team of researchers was not only able to show CB receptor dysfunction increased intensity of stress but also confirmed taking CBD could promote levels of 2-AG, a chemical associated with reduced stress responses.

Some research has positioned CBD as best used in conjunction with traditional behavioral treatments. As with many reports looking into CBD and PTSD, a 2014 study conducted by the University of Michigan suggests a CBD regimen could significantly improve fear extinction associated with anxiety disorders. However, the team also concluded the benefits provided by CBD would have the greatest impact alongside exposure-based treatment plans.

As for the specific mechanisms by which CBD improves PTSD symptoms, there is some early research out of the University of Sao Paulo providing some insight. The team of researchers has shown that CBD boosts hippocampal neurogenesis in mice models. This process is believed to be central to the ability of cannabidiol to decrease anxiety levels in those living with PTSD, even after exposure to a trigger.

Does CBD Work?
These couple of reports only begin to scratch the surface of the data highlighting what CBD could do for those living with PTSD. That’s not to mention the wider range of potential applications for this very well-tolerated natural medication.

Regardless, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any new regimen. Only they can ensure you avoid any conflicts with your current medications. Not only that but involving a trusted healthcare provider can be a massive part of crafting an effective treatment plan for you.

While there is no shortage of information out there on CBD, it can actually be way too much to handle. In fact, these days, it’s hard to know for sure if what you’re reading online is trustworthy or just another paid ad. That said, there’s a new site looking to unite real CBD users together to answer the simple question, did CBD work? is a totally crowd-sourced platform for discussion on CBD, offering not only somewhere to provide your experiences for others, but also quickly browse much of the peer-reviewed research out there on what CBD can do. You’ll find dedicated pages for a wide range of conditions research suggests cannabidiol could improve, such as PTSD.

Have you or someone you know used CBD to help improve their mental health? is currently gathering experiences from millions of people, just like you, who have used CBD to help manage their overall mental wellbeing. No matter if CBD worked for you or not, they would love to hear from you about your experience; these stories help those suffering see that there may be a solution out there for them.

About The Author
John Mace Alois is the Digital Editor and Lead Content Creator of, a crowdsourcing project looking to reach 1 million CBD users. A lifelong advocate for CBD and cannabis products, this Empire State native has spent the last several years using advocacy to sharpen his writing skills. He has written professionally for years and looks forward to using that skill to educate others. He can be reached at

Friday, January 24, 2020

VA looking at expanding medical marijuana CANADA

Veterans Affairs considers expanding vaping options for medical marijuana

CBC News
Kevin Yarr
Posted: Jan 23, 2020

With new products for consuming cannabis coming on the market last month, Veterans Affairs is looking into whether it should expand the options it covers.
Vaping cannabis oils became legal in December. (CBC)

Oils for vaping, along with edibles, became legal in Canada last month. The cost of vaporizers for dried marijuana has been covered by DVA since 2014. Sandie Williamson, senior director of healthcare programs with Veterans Affairs, said that change has prompted a review.

"We regularly review different products and different therapies, different benefits that are coming onto the market," said Williamson.

"These products have just hit the market as of last month. There's still an evolution as to what will be available."

Veterans Affairs will be consulting with Health Canada on whether to include the new products in its rebate program. Williamson said if the product is approved, Veterans Affairs would not be involved in the choice of treatment of any individual.
read it here

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Florida Veteran fired after being prescribed medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder?

UPDATE School Board to pay suspended combat veteran

The School Board on Tuesday conducted a financial rescue mission of Mike Hickman, a Belleview High School dean and combat veteran who was suspended without pay two weeks ago after testing positive for medically prescribed marijuana.
Most board members said during Tuesday’s meeting that they made a mistake when suspending Hickman without pay. They thought he would be suspended with pay, pending a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Thanks to Tuesday’s decision, Hickman now is on paid leave status while the administrative law process plays out. He will be paid retroactively to Jan. 14

Superintendent Heidi Maier has recommended that Hickman be fired for violating School Board policy. Hickman hurt his shoulder while breaking up a fight at Belleview High. He went to the district’s worker compensation doctor, who reported to the district that he tested positive for cannabinoids. That is considered a violation of the school system’s zero tolerance alcohol and drug-free workplace policy, which was established by the board.
read it here

Military veteran fired from school for medical marijuana use
By Joe Callahan
January 15, 2020
Mike Hickman, a former Belleview High School dean who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1990s, was prescribed medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Before Mike Hickman was named Belleview High School’s student services manager, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

Little did the aspiring assistant principal know that he would have to wage another battle, nearly 30 years later, to protect his name and livelihood.

On Tuesday, the School Board upheld the firing of Hickman, 50, after he tested positive for marijuana that he was legally prescribed to help with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The story began on Nov. 5, when Hickman injured his shoulder at Belleview High while breaking up a student fight. He went to the district’s worker compensation doctor, who is required to administer a urinalysis as part of the treatment.

The doctor reported to the School District that Hickman tested positive for cannabinoids, which is a violation of the school system’s zero tolerance alcohol and drug-free workplace policy, as established by the School Board.

Hickman was devastated when he learned Superintendent of Schools Heidi Maier recommended his firing, he said Wednesday morning. After all, he just spent $10,000 to obtain a master’s degree to enter the assistant principal’s hiring pool with aspirations of one day becoming a principal.
read it here

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sen. Donna Campbell lied about PTSD and pot

Did study show that 70% of veterans who committed suicide had THC in their system?
By Taylor Goldenstein
July 15th
But the study Campbell cited doesn’t seem to exist. Some research does exist on this topic, but experts questioned the validity of drawing a conclusion about the connection between marijuana use and suicide generally — let alone among veterans.
🤬We rate this claim Pants on Fire.
Texas lawmakers this year voted to broaden the state’s medical marijuana program to include more qualifying conditions than just intractable epilepsy.

Under the bill, which was signed into law, patients with several more conditions, including terminal cancers, autism and multiple sclerosis, will now be eligible to participate in the program.

During a debate in the Senate over the proposal, state Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, argued against including post-traumatic stress disorder in the bill. The disorder was ultimately not included in the bill that passed.

"A study was done, a post-mortem, so a retrospective study done, looking at autopsies and drug levels, what drugs were in the blood of veterans that committed suicide, and 70 percent had THC," Campbell said.

We decided to take a look at Campbell’s claim to see if a study of this nature existed and whether there’s a connection between veterans, marijuana use and suicide.
read it here

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Florida veteran survived Iraq, Fort Hood massacre and attempted suicide by cop

A Suicide-by-Cop Attempt Prompts a Plan to Use Marijuana to Save Veterans

Miami New Times
JUNE 14, 2019
“Seeing that one of my own service members, a major that I’m supposed to look up to, couldn’t handle his own PTSD and decided to shoot up a soldier-reprocessing site made me feel absolutely terrible," Ortiz says. “I had survivor’s guilt, and I still have survivor’s guilt.”

Having failed at a previous suicide attempt, South Florida Army veteran J.C. Ortiz was determined to succeed the second time.

It was 2009 and he had just returned from his second tour of Iraq, where he had experienced a grueling 15 months of continual combat. Four years earlier, after another 18 months of war, he'd begun suffering from PTSD. He would become addicted to opioids.

Now the plan was to lock himself with bottles of rum and pills in the bathroom of his home on the Fort Hood military base in Texas. Through the door, he would tell his wife he was going to take his own life, knowing she would call military police.

Florida is home to 17 percent of the nation’s homeless, according to the U.S. Census. And the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates veterans make up 11 percent of the nation's homeless population. Ortiz says there are 3,500 homeless veterans in South Florida.
read more here

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Medical Pot Wins in Federal Court

Judges: Feds must act if asked to take a fresh look at pot

Associate Press
Larry Neumeister
May 31, 2019
"If true, these are no small things. Plaintiffs should not be required to live indefinitely with uncertainty about their access to allegedly life-saving medication or live in fear that pursuing such medical treatment may subject them or their loved ones to devastating consequences." Judge Guido Calabresi.

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration must "act promptly" if formally asked to take another look at laws that consider marijuana as dangerous as heroin or LSD.

The ruling came Thursday in a 2-to-1 vote by judges from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who agreed that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the DEA and other parts of the federal government needed to ask the agency to change its designations for marijuana before bringing the issue to the courts.

The plaintiffs — which include the Cannabis Cultural Association and an Iraq war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder — now have an opening to persuade federal authorities to change how they classify marijuana. Many states have legalized recreational pot use, but marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

"It is possible that the current law, though rational once, is now heading towards irrationality; it may even conceivably be that it has gotten there already," wrote Judge Guido Calabresi.

"A sensible response to our evolving understanding about the effects of marijuana might require creating new policies just as much as changing old ones," Calabresi added in a majority opinion that included the conclusions of Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a district judge sitting on the Manhattan appeals court temporarily.
read more here

Veterans and their advocates say cannabis can help with PTSD and other ailments, but so far Veterans Affairs is slow to conduct tests.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Florida Congressman gets it wrong on veterans committing suicide

Member of congress gets it all wrong on veterans committing suicide...

This is wrong
“So just in the last 18 months, 34 service members have committed suicide in a Veterans Affairs hospital or clinic — in the actual place that’s supposed to be taking care of them..."
That would be veterans...not service members.

This is wrong
"The nation’s suicide epidemic among veterans and active-duty personnel — 20.6 self-inflicted fatalities a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs"

VA suicide numbers do not include Active Duty. They retracted the statement saying that they were included due to the fact that would mean the DOD was wrong when they were reporting an average of 500 a year.

Rep. Steube trying to halt veteran suicide ‘crisis’

Herald Tribune
By Billy Cox
Staff Writer
Posted May 29, 2019
“So just in the last 18 months, 34 service members have committed suicide in a Veterans Affairs hospital or clinic — in the actual place that’s supposed to be taking care of them ... And if anybody here has a solution to that problem, or ways we can identify service members who are in a higher risk for that category ... I’m all ears to that.”
Freshman Congressman supports removing marijuana from its wrongly classified Schedule 1 status

NORTH PORT — Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of veteran suicides, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube said on Wednesday he supports removing marijuana from its wrongly classified Schedule 1 status.

“And I think you’d be surprised by the amount of Republicans that would support it,” said the Sarasota Republican, who added Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would likely block a descheduling bill. But Steube said a vote would enjoy broad bipartisan support in the House and could come up for a vote this session.

“I think as you’re seeing a younger generation of elected officials — I mean, look at (Florida Gov. Ron) DeSantis and some of the things he’s done — and their positions on those issues are very different.”

Steube’s remarks followed a town hall meeting sponsored by Concerned Veterans of America at the Suncoast Technical College Conference Center. The nation’s suicide epidemic among veterans and active-duty personnel — 20.6 self-inflicted fatalities a day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs — cast a shadow across the forum, even as many gathered to hear about the latest wrinkles in the Mission Act.

Passed in 2018 to give veterans better access to VA health care, the new regulations will go into effect on June 6. The new law allows patients who’ve been waiting for more than 20 days or who drive more than 30 miles to enter a VA facility to visit a community doctor closer to their residences. The expansion is huge, as it opens new avenues of services to roughly 40 percent of the veteran population. Under current rules, just 8% of veterans have those options.

But solving the suicide epidemic has no easy fix, as Steube told a crowded meeting room. In fact, there’s so much misinformation about what veterans in Florida and other medical marijuana-legal states are liable for with their medical-cannabis prescriptions, the House freshman said he intends to introduce a bill to codify protection for veterans whose urinalyses may test positive for marijuana.

“The directive is, you can’t be denied VA services, but I’ve heard from veterans in my own district who say they’ve been told otherwise ... So I have a bill to make it law that if you live in a state that has lawfully opened up medicinal marijuana and you have a recommendation for a prescription ... you cannot lose those VA benefits.”

A member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Steube calls the suicide epidemic a crisis that can’t ignore any potential remedies. He says the VA is trying to be proactive in its screening procedures, but the numbers continue to skyrocket.
read more here

On the medical pot thing, that is correct and a lot of doctors with the VA would prefer to give their veterans it instead of most of the drugs that actually come with warnings of increasing suicidal thoughts...

Friday, May 24, 2019

Texans closer to medical pot...but not veterans with PTSD?

Former Dallas Cowboy Jay Novacek, Wife Advocate For Medical Marijuana Law: ‘We Want To Save Our Son’s Life’

By Andrea Lucia
May 23, 2019

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than one million Texans could be eligible to access medical marijuana through the Texas Compassionate Use program, after state senators unanimously approved a bill expanding the list of qualifying conditions on Wednesday.

Jay and Amy Novacek (CBS 11)
The bill is more narrow than one passed by the House earlier this month, but would allow patients with medical seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, autism and ALS to obtain medical cannabis with up to .5% THC from a state-licensed dispensary.

“We’re just like everybody there, desperate. We want to save our son’s life,” said Amy Novacek.
She and her husband, former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek, never expected they would be advocating for anything related to marijuana.

“Everybody I grew up with.. there was no drinking, no drugs. I was naïve to all that in small town Nebraska,” said Jay Novacek.
Joshua Raines, an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient, has plead with lawmakers for years to extend medical marijuana access to veterans suffering from PTSD.

“I’ve lost more friends to suicide than I have to combat,” he said.
read more here

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Florida lawmakers for trying to cap THC levels for medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana patients lash out at Florida lawmakers for trying to cap THC levels

Orlando Weekly
Posted By Dara Kam
News Service of Florida
Apr 9, 2019
“A bill that was supposed to be about helping a community that is plagued with drug addiction and drug overdose … a bill that was supposed to be about helping a veteran community that is plagued (with) suicide is now being used as leverage by lawmakers to try and impose their will on the people."

Photo via Florida House of Representatives State Rep. Ray Rodrigues
After fiery exchanges with veterans and patient advocates who accused a legislative leader of relying on faulty research, members of a House committee on Tuesday pushed forward a proposal that would cap the level of euphoria-inducing THC in smokable medical marijuana.

The House plan would also give veterans free, state-issued medical marijuana identification cards, a sweetener that angered veterans who lashed out at the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, during an emotionally charged House Appropriations Committee meeting.
Jimmy Johnston, a veteran who is president of the North Florida chapter of Weed for Warriors Project, lashed out at the committee for linking the free ID cards for veterans, a savings of $75 per year, with the THC cap.
Rodrigues, a soft-spoken Estero Republican who serves as chairman of the House Health & Human Services Committee, was visibly shaken following a meeting that became so heated the House sergeant and his aides were summoned.

Rodrigues has shepherded House medical-marijuana legislation since the state first authorized non-euphoric cannabis for a limited number of patients in 2014.
read more here

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Veterans in other news October 9, 2018

By now you should have heard that Google+ will be shutting down. Now they are saying it will happen next year, but I am not waiting.

From today onward, news reports that used to be shared with followers there, will be on this site, in condensed format.

Since the national news 24-7 stations are no longer interested in anything but political talk, at least here, veterans are the story we cover! (OK, so we cover First Responders too, but they matter to us too :~)
If you subscribe to this site, then you will get a daily email that looks like this
Under the headlines that were posted the day before, you will see what is on the post. Then you can click the link or forward it to other people you know so that they can find out what is going on in other parts of the country, and often, in other parts of the world.

Because there are a lot of people who follow this site, in consideration of them, this is the best way to cover the news without driving them nuts with too many updates.

Followers get an email that looks like this every time a post goes up.
Considering there could be up to 30 updates, that would be way too many emails for most people to get through.

When there is a story that needs to be a single post, that will still be done as well.

I thought long and hard about this but when I thought about how Google+ posts end up going directly to the news source, it ended up cutting this site out. I had no way of knowing what stories mattered, or how many times it was read. Now I will know.

So dear readers, this is how the rest of the days will go. Let me know what you think. 

Leave a comment PLEASE because most of the time I do not hear from readers and IT GETS PRETTY LONELY by myself.
Yokota airman, a recent ‘Airlifter of the Week,’ found dead in off-base home
Published: October 8, 2018

Staff Sgt. Eliction Chan, 27, of the 374th Mission Support Group at Yokota Air Base, Japan, was found dead in her off-base residence, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Eliction Chan, 27, assigned to the 374th Mission Support Group at Yokota Air Base, Japan, died Oct. 1, according to an Air Force statement issued last week.

Chan had recently been named “Airlifter of the Week” by the 374th Airlift Wing, which encompasses the support group.
read more here

Florida's largest medical cannabis producer seeing 'huge transition' from opioids to marijuana treatment 
CEO Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers describes how Florida's largest fully licensed medical marijuana company is faring amid the cannabis craze.

Rivers tells CNBC's Jim Cramer that Trulieve is "seeing a huge transition" from opioids to medical cannabis. Elizabeth Gurdus October 8, 2018

Florida patients with serious conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder are increasingly opting for medical cannabis over opioids, the CEO of the state's first and largest fully licensed medical marijuana company told CNBC on Monday.

"We're seeing a huge transition," Kim Rivers, the CEO of Trulieve, told "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview. "That's actually one of our initiatives in front of the [Florida state] legislature this upcoming session, to introduce policies to say instead of only having opioids as an alternative, why not medical cannabis?"

With over 80,000 patients and 17 retail locations in the state of Florida, Trulieve offers 90 cannabis-based products that help treat a series of conditions including seizure conditions, cancer and AIDS. A bulk of Trulieve's patients also suffer from PTSD given Florida's large veteran population, Rivers said.
read more here

Navy veteran and family still dealing with the mess Hurricane Irma left behind
NBC 8 News
By: Chip Osowski
Posted: Oct 08, 2018

When Faye Mays watches Hurricane Michael barrel toward the Florida panhandle, she thinks to herself, I hope those people have insurance. When Hurricane Irma blew through Polk County last year she thought she had insurance. She did not. She learned that the hard way when a huge Oak tree came crashing through the home she shared with her sister and two children.

The home on Sears Avenue Northeast in Winter Haven was willed to her and her sister by her parents. Her mother died unexpectedly and was quickly followed by her father. At some point during the funeral planning, burials and everything else that was going on, the insurance on the home lapsed.

It was September 10th, 2017 when Faye's life changed drastically. She was taking IT classes and had just laid down when the tree came crashing through the living room of the home. Had she been sitting on the couch where she normally sat, she believes she would've been killed. Her first priority: getting everyone out of the house safely. "We were able to get out," said Mays, pointing to one of the many wires that are haning from the exposed rafters. "These were sparking."
read more here

Navy petty officer wins transgender bodybuilding contest


 Wes Phills, of Brooklyn, N.Y., center, walks offstage after winning the overall award and middleweight class in the International Association of Trans Bodybuilders competition in Atlanta on Saturday. At left are fellow competitors Peter Moore, and Sandy Baird, both of Oakland, Calif., and Kennedy Conners, right, of Conyers, Ga., who took home the heavyweight trophy. (David Goldman/AP)
ATLANTA — It’s been 20 years since Charles Bennett took the stage to compete in bodybuilding. But at the age of 63, he’s now done something he’s never done before — compete as a man for the first time in what’s billed as the world’s only transgender bodybuilding competition.

Bennett and seven fellow competitors went before a crowd Saturday evening in the annual International Association of Trans Bodybuilders competition at a theater in Atlanta. read more here

Killed WWII Marine returning home after being buried for 75 years as an unknown serviceman
Associated Press
October 8, 2018 
Relatives of a Chicago-area Marine killed during World War II are welcoming his body back after 75 years being buried in Hawaii as an unknown serviceman.

Military officials say DNA tests helped confirm the identity of Marine Corps Tech. Sgt. Harry Carlsen of Brookfield, who was 31 when he was killed while storming a Japanese stronghold in the Tarawa Atoll of the Gilbert Islands.
Death by 'friendly fire': Local veteran's name added to Vietnam War Memorial
Steven Mayer
October 9, 2018
It's extraordinary when you think about it, said Larry Bramblett, president of the Sonora chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, where Williams was a remote member.

Williams didn't die of conventional wounds on the battlefield, Bramblett noted. He died slowly, over a period of decades, from a constellation of health problems that didn't leave bullet wounds, but were just as deadly.

"There should be a new Purple Heart just for the Agent Orange guys," Bramblett said. #AgentOrange

Navy mom's tweet makes #HimToo mockery go viral
Stars and Stripes
October 9, 2018
"This is MY son. He graduated #1 in boot camp. He was awarded the USO award. He was #1 in A school. He is a gentleman who respects women. He won't go on solo dates due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an axe to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo," the tweet read.

She posted the now-deleted tweet on the day Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, after a confirmation process that featured accusations of sexual misconduct. Twitter's response was rife with mockery, spawning a variety of "This is MY son" memes. And her sons had plenty to say, too.

Pieter Hanson, the son featured posing in his Navy uniform in the tweet, created an account in the early hours of Tuesday morning called @thatwasmymom. The first post?

"That was my Mom. Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it. Let’s turn this around. I respect and #BelieveWomen. I never have and never will support #HimToo. I’m a proud Navy vet, Cat Dad and Ally. Also, Twitter, your meme game is on point," he tweeted.
read more here

Saturday, March 17, 2018

"This company was built by brothers helping brothers"

How This Former Marine Turned His PTSD Into a Multi-Million-Dollar Business in 60 Days
Javier Hasse
March 14, 2018
“I can tell you with certainty that I thought about killing myself more than once. And so did one of my best friends and former unit companion, Caleb Patton. It was the guys around us, who are now part of IPG, that saved us.” Hunter Garth

Hunter Garth, bearded, 27, seems to be as chill as they come. After all, he works with marijuana.

But this was not always the case.

Returning home after serving with the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan for four years was not easy. Readapting to civilian life was not easy. And, as you might imagine, overcoming the trauma of war was not easy--is it ever?

“During my life in deployment, I was hyper-exposed to trauma, but I really negated it all, telling myself that it was not that bad. I really took a tough guy approach while I was in the Marine Corps,” Garth reveals.

However, coming back home was a whole other issue. He could no longer live in denial. “My deployment had pretty extensive consequences. During my transitional period, I was not thinking right, I was not sleeping well, [and] I wasn’t handling things in an appropriate manner,” he continues.

Despite being among the lucky ones, counting on the support of friends and family at the time of his return, Garth marks the moment of getting out of the Marine Corps as the one where things really went South--not only for him but also for almost every one of his comrades. There was not a lot of time to process things in Afghanistan; back home, they were all alone with their thoughts.

“A few of the guys that I served with killed themselves; a few of them got in adrenaline-based accidents… Basically, we were all self-medicating and acting in a way that was incredibly dangerous as a group of people and as individuals.”
“This company was built by brothers helping brothers, and we intend to follow that path,” Patton adds.
read more here

Monday, February 26, 2018

Four Chaplains Awardee supports pot for PTSD

Marine veteran from Schenectady receives Four Chaplains award
Daily Gazette
Andrew Beam
February 25, 2018

'We hope those principles dominate the spirit of how people treat other people'
Longtime Marine Bob Becker of Schenectady listens at a ceremony in which he received the Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award. PHOTOGRAPHER: MARC SCHULTZ
Becker served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a supply chief and platoon sergeant in the Second Marine Division from 1960 until 1966. He then joined the USMC Reserve in 1966 and retired as a first sergeant in 1982. After his retirement, he advocated on behalf of veterans' rights. One of the more recent accomplishments Becker obtained through his advocacy was helping pass the bill in New York state allowing medical marijuana for treatment of those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
SCHENECTADY — After hearing several veterans, elected officials and church members talk about Bob Becker on Sunday, it was Becker’s turn to talk.

Becker, who had just received the Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award, barely spoke about himself. Instead, much like the meaning behind the award he was given on Sunday, he chose to focus on everyone else who got him to that point.

“This award is not for me,” Becker said. “It’s for the committee I work on.”

Becker, of Schenectady, was given the award by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States Albany Post 105 at the First Reformed Church on Sunday.

The award was created in the name of the Four Chaplains. The chaplains were among those who died in February of 1943 on the S.S. Dorchester when the ship was struck by a German torpedo during World War II in the North Atlantic.

The four man group was made up of a Methodist minister, a rabbi, a Catholic priest and a Dutch Reformed minister. They are heralded for putting the rest of those on the boat before themselves, as they helped the other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. They then linked arms, prayed and sang hymns as the boat sank into the sea.
read more here

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Afghanistan Veteran: PTSD Almost Killed Me

When I came home from Afghanistan, my PTSD almost killed me. Then I discovered the magic of cannabis
Toronto Life
Chris Dupee
December 22, 2017

"I took a job as the company’s Ontario representative. We provided relief to 1,500 veterans—including me. I took cannabis capsules daily. And while they helped me pick myself up, I needed my family’s love to feel whole again. A year and a half ago, after many apologies and a lot of tears, I moved back in."
I hardly knew anything about the military when I enlisted 12 years ago. I couldn’t have told you the difference between the army and the navy, let alone the order of military ranks. But I always wanted to help people, and fighting for my country seemed like a good way to do that. For years, I bounced from base to base, learning basics in Quebec, doing drills in Alberta, jumping out of planes in Trenton. The training was relentless but rewarding. Finally, in 2008, my unit was deployed to Afghanistan. I said goodbye to my wife, Angel, and our three little girls, knowing it could be the last time I saw them.
When my tour ended, my unit went to Cyprus for what the military calls “decompression.” We rode Sea-Doos by day and partied by night. Doctors warned us about the possibility of PTSD, but most of us were too hungover to care. Besides, I thought, I was fine. None of this applied to me. read more here

Monday, November 13, 2017

PTSD Veterans in New York Getting Medical Marijuana

Veterans with PTSD can apply to use medical marijuana legally, Cuomo announces

PIX 11 News
Ashley Soley-Cerro
November 11, 2017

"I think that can help thousands of veterans. It's something that we've been talking about for a long time and I'm glad we're taking action today." Gov. Andrew Cuomo

NEW YORK — In an effort to help thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD will be added to the list of conditions covered for medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Veterans Day.
"Many of our veterans are suffering from PTSD and the medical community has determined that marijuana can be a helpful treatment," Cuomo said in a statement Saturday. "If there are veterans that are suffering and we can make a treatment available, we want to."
The governor plans to sign into law that marijuana will be legal if a doctor authorizes it, and finds a veteran suffers from PTSD, Cuomo said.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Mom Grieves For Veteran Son Killed During Standoff

Mother of veteran killed in standoff wants medical marijuana legal to 'give our vets another choice'
The Indy Channel
Katie Cox
Nov 9, 2017
OWEN COUNTY, Ind. -- The mother of a man who was killed after a standoff with police that lasted over 30 hours says her son was suffering from PTSD and medical marijuana could have helped him.
Mason Johnson, 31, was holding hostages in an Owen County home when he was shot and killed by police earlier this month.

“My heart is broken, no child should have to die like that,” said Jade Griffin. “His life was ended by his own demise from his mental breakdown from PTSD.”

Griffin said Mason had served in Iraq when he was 19 years old and had several traumatic experiences during his time there. Those experiences led to him having significant mental health issues in the years that followed.

“His friend died, his sergeant was gravely injured,” said Griffin. “The ugliness of war every day – he wondered if it was going to be his last.”
read more here

Suspect in 31-hour Owen Co. standoff killed after firing several shots at officers, hostages rescued

November 4, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

SWAT Raided Special Forces Veteran's Home For Legal Pot?

Special forces soldier sues Fountain SWAT after legal pot grow raid
Denver Post
Kirk Mitchell
August 17, 2017

A former special forces infantryman, who was awarded the Bronze Star and uses marijuana to treat PTSD after tours to Iraq and Bosnia, has sued the Fountain police SWAT team after officers raided his legal marijuana greenhouse.

Eli Olivas and his girlfriend Marisela Chavez sued the city of Fountain and Fountain police Sgt. Matthew Racine, claiming the city failed to properly train its police to investigate pot cases in a state where it’s legal to grow marijuana.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Denver by attorney Terrence Johnson. Olivas and Chavez seek compensatory damages of more than $100,000. Olivas, a paramedic, also wants his guns returned: an AK-47 rifle, a 5.56 millimeter Sig Sauer rifle and a Glock 17, court records show Police confiscated the weapons but haven’t returned them, the lawsuit says.

Fountain Police Chief Chris Heberer said the department had a valid search warrant signed by a judge.
Olivas is a former U.S. Army Special Forces staff sergeant, infantryman, medic and combat veteran. Besides the Bronze Star, he earned numerous other service medals. He also was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to combat.

Olivas is a registered medical marijuana patient with a permit to grow up to 99 marijuana plants for his own treatment of PTSD. He was growing 18 marijuana plants behind a locked, 6-foot privacy fence. The plants were further enclosed in a greenhouse walled with opaque glass.
read more here

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New England Veterans Alliance "Cannabis Gateway Drug to Wellness"

The New England Veteran's Alliance Is Using Cannabis As A Gateway Drug To Wellness

107.5 FM
August 8, 2017

To Derek Cloutier and Devin Tellier of New England Veterans Alliance, cannabis IS a gateway drug.  But as Devin says in this interview, 

"The gate swings the other way"  

Both are veterans (Derek, Marines, Devin, Army) and have done tours of duty in Iraq.  Both came home with personal struggles from their experiences.  Both have used cannabis to help them fight addictions and personal demons.  

Through NEVA they are helping other Vets and their families do the same. Check out the podcast above to hear more details about their mission and experiences.