“My viewpoint on cannabis did a complete 180 after leaving the Marine Corps, where it was completely forbidden. For me the most significant impact was seeing the positive effect that it was having on so many of my colleagues.”
By Brianna Wheeler of Willamette Week
Cannabis is indeed medicine, and veterans deserve full legal access.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 20% of the millions of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will experience post-traumatic stress or depression. Treating every veteran’s mental and physical health needs is not something the VA is equipped to handle, especially when the treatment of choice for so many is federally illegal.
As complex as America’s military is—naturally there’s a difference between those who served during certain eras, under certain administrations, and under certain circumstances—one thing all veterans seem to agree on is, for the most part, military service has the inherent potential to invite some degree of trauma.
Cannabis therapies have been proven to help cope with that trauma.
In honor of Veterans Day, WW reached out to members of the canna-vet community to get their takes on what cannabis means to them post-service.
Steve Danyluk, retired lieutenant colonel U.S. Marine Corps and founder of Warfighter Hemp
WW: How has cannabis use affected your life post-service?
Danyluk: My viewpoint on cannabis did a complete 180 after leaving the Marine Corps, where it was completely forbidden. For me the most significant impact was seeing the positive effect that it was having on so many of my colleagues who were struggling with opiates and other powerful medications that they were being prescribed by the VA. A lot of veterans, particularly the combat-wounded ones who seem to prefer our stronger oils, many of these veterans are completely off of prescription medications as a result [of CBD therapy], and that is one of the things that we at Warfighter Hemp are most proud of.
How will you be spending your Veterans Day this year?
My wife is still in active duty, so the first thing I will probably do when I wake up is kiss her and thank her for her service. Then, during the day, I will probably spend a few moments thinking about Dave Greene. Dave was a guy I served with and who is the highest-ranking Marine officer to have been killed in action in Iraq. He was an exceptional person on so many levels, and his loss was a loss for all of us.