Veteran's Corner


#421

No Problem, hope it gives you some good information.

Would really like to get the government out of this and let us do like people have done for centuries ! I only know from my experience, the doctors cannot explain why this condition of mine has reversed itself.

Take care,

Jerry


#422

Here is an article that a few of us might find interesting!

This came off of the website Leafly

The VA Can’t Provide Cannabis to Veterans With PTSD, so This Group Gives It Out for Free

Once a month, staff members at the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance (SCVA) fill more than 100 brown paper bags with high-quality medical cannabis and pass them out for free at a local community center. For the military veterans who receive it—many of whom struggle with PTSD—the medical cannabis acts as a lifeline to health.
The SCVA, which operates out of an old office in a Santa Cruz neighborhood, has been serving local men and women since 2011, when the organization was founded by military veterans Aaron Newsom and Jason Sweatt.

After six years of service, though, SCVA’s mission now faces challenges due to an ironic new development: the legalization of cannabis in California. New regulations due to take effect in early 2018 don’t allow the SCVA to continue operating as they do today.
“We’ve tried to create this environment of peace through cultivation and cannabis with a purpose.”
Aaron Newsom, SCVA Co-Founder
“With the new law, if we’re not at the end of the chain of custody, we are not allowed to give away anything for free,” Newsom told me during a recent interview in his office in Santa Cruz. “We have to get a storefront where we can retail our product and determine whether we sell it for $50 or $1.00–or provide it in a volunteer-return basis.”
Newsom, 35, is clean-cut and bright-eyed. He served in the marine corps before co-founding the SCVA. Sweatt, 41, is a 10-year Army vet and director of the SCVA. He offered a quieter hello behind black-framed glasses.
As we spoke earlier this summer, workers were busy carrying out construction projects needed to turn the space into a retail cannabis store. California’s Prop 64, which will soon regulate what was once a loose, laissez faire medical cannabis market, requires that the SCVA obtain state licensing and operate a storefront in order to continue carrying out its mission.

That mission includes growing their own medicine.
In the SCVA’s garden, hundreds of cannabis plants are cultivated by a staff of volunteers and a few paid staff.
Rows upon rows of cannabis plants vegetated in silent darkness, lit only by a dim green light. Fans hummed quietly, creating a pleasant breeze in the branches. The grow rooms feel peaceful, surrounding curious visitors among the slow growth of life.
“We’ve tried to create this environment of peace through cultivation and cannabis with a purpose,” Newsom said. “It’s horticultural therapy.”

Buds of Kosher Kush.
Another room was brightly lit and populated with flowering plants that filled the room with their sweet, fragrant aromas. Kosher Kush, White Fire OG, and a Tangie hybrid were among the stock that sat glittering with trichomes. Though Jason and Aaron started the garden years ago as a twosome, a few other veterans now help tend the plants.
“A lot of these guys were over there [in war] kicking in doors and taking lives,” Newsom explained. “They’re able to come back to slow growth and cultivating life, and then [they’re able] to bring back life in [other] patients.”
When we returned to the office, SCVA staff members had begun packing freshly cured cannabis into brown bags for their veteran brothers and sisters. Music danced in the air, dogs flopped on the floor, and between busy hands, cannabis was shared. Aaron excitedly and emphatically rallied everyone between puffs, and in that moment where it seemed everyone was smiling in unison, it was hard to imagine what each of them had been through.
● ● ●

Veterans gather for the monthly SCVA meeting, where medical cannabis is distributed.
For many of those who live with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there is no cure–only temporary relief. It’s a condition that lives in the basement of your mind. Now and then, a trigger kicks in the door leading down to the dark, ushering in fear and anxiety. The dormant trauma, living and breathing below the surface, snaps awake by flashbacks, nightmares, or subtle reminders in daily life. Like a scab on the psyche, it gets torn open again and again.
Therapy and mood-stabilizing drugs have helped many patients strip the “disorder” aspect of their PTSD so that it’s possible to live without the constant looming shadow of memory. But for others, conventional treatments don’t work.

RELATED STORY
PTSD, Insomnia, and Cannabis: What’s the Evidence Say?
Some patients with this type of chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD have found that cannabis helps bridle PTSD symptoms. It calms an overactive mind, slowing it down to a sustainable pace where peace can be found. Cannabis can also reduce a patient’s reliance on heavier pharmaceuticals, medications with side effects that can devastate a person’s quality of life.
● ● ●

Members of the SCVA tuning in to announcements before cannabis is given out.
Later that day, an SCVA staff member showed me some footage he’d taken during his own combat tour.
On a laptop screen, I watched as a shaky camera moved through a dusty stone corridor. It followed a group of soldiers, guns in hand. The sound of footfalls and muffled movement carried on for just seconds before a blast overwhelmed the senses, blackening sight and deafening ears. When the dust cleared, a soldier was on the ground, surrounded by shouts. A medic leaned over the wounded soldier, repeating words of reassurance.
The soldier who’d captured the footage of the detonated IED (improvised explosive device) was standing behind me, alongside other SCVA staff members. They stood watching with fixed eyes and folded arms, eyebrows folded slightly inward.

RELATED STORY
For Veterans With PTSD, Medical Marijuana Can Mean a Good Night’s Sleep
Knowing that PTSD manifests differently for everyone, I asked Newsom, Sweatt, and other members of the SCVA what the condition looked like for them.
For Sweatt, the many convoys he did in Iraq left him unable to drive for two years. “I experienced a lot of heightened alert, my head was on a swivel,” he admitted. “When I drove, I was really hypervigilant, looking around, constantly checking my surroundings.”
Sweatt had difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. He moved to California and lived in a van for six months. The re-entry difficulty and social isolation seemed to be common among many of the veterans I spoke to.
“I saw patients whose lives were destroyed by the ravages of drugs and alcohol, but never anyone who was sick from cannabis.”
Dr. Jordan Tishler, Former VA physician
“We’ve got homeless veterans, and many who [struggle to gain] employment and education,” Newsom said. “Returning to civilian life, everyone is out on their own.”
Due to the Schedule I status of cannabis, VA doctors are legally unable to recommend it to veterans. Instead, they are left to prescribe a cocktail of antidepressants, anxiolytics, antipsychotics, opioids, and sleeping medications.
“The VA tends to group us into two categories,” Newsom explained. “You’re either the PTSD depressed category and you get these three sets of pills, or you’re the angry type and you get these three sets of pills. It’s like a conveyer belt.”
These pharmaceuticals can sometimes create more problems than they correct. Most of the veterans I spoke to noted that cannabis helped them reduce their reliance on opioids, benzos, and other prescription pharmaceuticals. But there’s a catch. The pharmaceutical costs are covered by the VA. Cannabis is not.

RELATED STORY
Here’s Why the DEA Will Never Reschedule Cannabis
And yet it seems to work. I heard a lot of comments like these from veterans working with SCVA:
“Cannabis helps me stay in the present.”
“It helps tone down the hypervigilance.”
“It helps me sleep.”
“It helps me stay calm.”
Lucy, a soft-spoken marine veteran and SCVA member, sat and talked with me for a while. “A lot of therapists who don’t understand veterans, they’re quick to prescribe the same pills I was trying to get away from,” she lamented. With cannabis, however, Lucy found relief.
“I thought it might mellow me out,” she smiled. “It worked.”
● ● ●

Clones growing in SCVA’s cannabis garden.
To find out why cannabis could be helpful to a mind plagued by trauma, I contacted Dr. Jordan Tishler in Boston.
A Harvard medical graduate who worked for 15 years as a VA physician, Tishler went on to establish a private practice, Inhale MD, so he could advise patients on medical cannabis.
“Time and time again I saw patients whose lives were destroyed by the ravages of drugs and alcohol,” he told me in a recent phone interview. “It occurred to me that I had seen all these harmed individuals, but never anyone who was sick from cannabis.”
Tishler saw firsthand the therapeutic potential of cannabis for the treatment of both pain and PTSD, so he dove into the research to learn more. He came up with a theory about how cannabis helps calm the mind of a PTSD patient.

RELATED STORY
How Cannabidiol (CBD) Works for Treating Anxiety
“THC and CBD tend to work as a retrograde postsynaptic shut-off valve,” he said. “Their job is to decrease the level of stimulation in systems that tend to be excitatory. These are important systems in our brain that can get revved up and overly triggered [by PTSD or anxiety]. Cannabis tends to dampen those systems.”
Another theory, first posited by neurologist Ethan Russo, proposes that conditions like PTSD can result in a deficiency of endogenous molecules (called “endocannabinoids”) that serve to balance the signals Tisher described. The molecules in cannabis, like THC and CBD, function like these endocannabinoids and can help to restore that balance of signals. And that, in theory, is why PTSD and anxiety patients feel calmer under the effects of cannabis.
For his PTSD patients, Tishler generally recommends a small dose of cannabis at night just before going to bed, noting, “The anti-anxiety effect will last that next day even though the intoxication has worn off.”
For people with PTSD, sleepless nights often open the door to other symptoms and setbacks. Addressing insomnia and nightmares is a common first step. But it’s important, Tishler cautioned, to consider starting at a low dose.

RELATED STORY
Less Is More: Why Low-Dose Cannabis Is Important
“Cannabis is a complex actor,” he acknowledged. “It can be very good for anxiety at low dose and very bad for anxiety at high dose.”
Most doctors aren’t as well-equipped as Tishler to explain the benefits and risks of medical cannabis. Some haven’t educated themselves on cannabis. Others are hampered by ties to the federal government.
As a result, many patients are using medical cannabis with no professional guidance whatsoever. Others have no safe access to it, period. The continued absence of compassionate cannabis laws across the nation is astounding to doctors and patients who have experienced an improved quality of life firsthand.
● ● ●

SCVA members line up to receive their monthly cannabis donation.
Back in Santa Cruz, upwards of 100 military veterans poured into a local community hall for the monthly SCVA meeting. Old metal folding chairs screeched against the wood floors as veterans took their seats and caught up with old friends.
At the front of the room, the SCVA staff prepared to pass out brown paper bags full of cannabis grown by their small team. A staff member tossed out silicone accessories for cannabis concentrates, cracking jokes amid booming laughter.
After a few short announcements, the veterans signed in, as if at a dispensary, and accepted the brown bags with smiles and handshakes. Many stuck around long after the meeting ended to catch up with other members. The sense of connection between them contrasted sharply with the isolation and social withdrawal many of them experienced after returning from service.
“We’re not therapists, and we’re not doctors,” Aaron Newsom demurred. “We just understand each other. That in itself is a healing tool.”


Thoughts From the Morning Garden - Continued
All things Massachusetts & MA Legalization
#423

@Skylives07 @Bogleg a place to hang out, if you ever want to talk. A couple of the guys have left but there are quite a few vets here.


#424

@bob31 thx for the invite…needless to say it is greatly appreciated.
@TxGrowman reading about your airway opening it reminded of an article I came across not too long ago that spoke about the effects of marijuana…and essentially it all came down to “…a recent large-scale, 20 year follow-up study showed that low-level, chronic marijuana use was associated with an increase in forced expiratory volume and forced vital capacity (Pletcher et al., 2012); this agrees with other literature data showing that chronic marijuana consumption via a vaporizer (which reduces the amount of tobacco-derived airway irritants) also improves respiratory function (Van Dam and Earleywine, 2010).” This may shed some light on your “miraculous” recovery lol haha VA doctors…

Also recently something similar happened to me except not as much on the positive side…I’ve been part of the VA healthcare system now for a little over 3yrs with a high service connected disability. I just recently discovered the benefits cannabis has on both my mental and overall health. Before that it was a daily regiment of pill salad consisting of “mood enhancers”, muscle relaxers, anti inflammatory pain medications, and for the sprinkled bacon on my salad :green_salad: sleeping pills as well as calcium because now all of a sudden my body just isn’t processing calcium like it needs to. Since 2014 I have seen a steady decline in my health…have had seizures(I never had before) which they discovered was due to my medications interacting with one another, literally over night I developed two big sti like masses(which I now think looks awesome) on each eyelid which for some reason my doctor thinks it’s a natural abnormally which didn’t develop until 3 months ago and since then I would occasionally see bright black spots off my peripherals but refuse to say anything because IMO that will mean more meds of some kind but something else just came up that’s now more pressing… recently about a month ago I got a new VA doc whom after doing my blood work goes through my blood work/medical chart. He starts off like every other doc… this fine your broken here this is fine etc the normal chants doctors telling you everything you’ve heard before from every doctor but then he asks have you ever been diagnosed with cancer? All I could say was the doctor before you never told me I did so this is new to me.
So then I tell him about 1.5 yrs ago I stopped drinking cold turkey(didn’t use tobacco but drank like a fish, every Friday before heading off base stopped at the base gas station to stock up on 24packs for the weekend) due to a spinal injury and medications, taking alcohol would have done more harm than good so I stopped. After my discharge from the hospital I was told watch your diet because most people with spinal injuries usually gain about 50Ibs did I listen? Nope I love eating steaks way too much. Since then what’s happened I went from 215Ibs to now recently weighed in at 170Ibs… keep in mind at 215 I could still run a 12min 2 miler, my friends used to describe me as having the build of a bulldog…I was 5’10" 215 and throughout this entire time I kept on telling my doctor at the time hey doc I still eat like a dumpster, all I did was stop drinking, I am no longer working out I don’t think I should be losing this much weight this quickly and effortlessly…his response don’t worry your body is going through some changes it will even out. So after my current doc asks me about me ever being diagnosed with cancer he follows up with have I started taking any knew medications recently which I responded with no(too afraid to disclose my cannabis use to the VA)that I don’t even take over the counter Tylenol for a cough or cold…the doc did some diggin on my past blood work results and come to find out for the past 1.5yr since my spinal injury and more pills where added to my regiment, one particular kind of my white blood cell has been on decline…and this new doctor is the only one to have discovered it. Of course at this point I am all kind of ticked off and he tries to say maybe it where all lab errors, as he is typing away talking to his pharmacists to see which of my meds could have this kind of reaction and follows through with new labs(both blood works and different labs for different stool samples) the tech who took the blood told me since she’s been working at the VA drawing blood, this is the most comprehensive lab order she’s ever seen placed on a patient and she was also a former army medic and followed up by asking where have I been overseas…that in itself didn’t make me feel better at all. Just to be on the safe side he literally changes all my meds to another form “to see if its changes the lowered white blood cell count or my weight loss”

So now waiting for the results of all the labs performed…as soon as I got home that day, I ordered my chocolope seeds from ILGM and told myself if I can dodge this bullet with nothing too crazy going on with me I will start pulling myself off all these meds and depend on cannabis on as mush as I can for my treatment.

BTW the link to the article I quoted above is


#425

@Skylives07

Jerry is on a short vacation right now but he will be back in a couple weeks. I’m sure he will find your post as interesting as I did.

Keep us posted on those results. Just curious did you use cannabis before your blood tests? I’m just curious if they are testing for MJ usage?

I’m supposed to go in for a physical in a month and I have to get all my labs done too.

Good News! Chocolope is listed as helping with appetite issues so hopefully that will help as well.


#426

@Skylives07 I did not forget you but am on vacation for the first time in a long time ! Will get back with you in a while (After we get to port!).

THIS IS A SCARY STATEMENT ABOUT “BIG PHARMA” AND CANCER ! Read and pass on esp to the ladies however remember that men CAN get breast cancer also. I think the evidence about Cannabis speaks for itself, it is WAY safer than drugs.


#427

@Skylives07 Finally got back on some type of schedule. Was on a cruise sampling the best buds on Maui, Hawaii and a couple other islands… The days went by WAY too fast ! Feel like a part of the human race now after that vacation !

I am not at all surprised that the Cannabis was what helped my health. I have been on literally dozens of inhalers and rescue breathing meds and they did nothing. I have been using Cannabis for substitute mood stabilizers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents and even blood pressure control as well as my lungs. Unfortunately, I lost my good pulmonologist (lung doctor) and have to feel out the current doctor next week on cannabis.

Sounds like you might have some complications of prescribed meds but I couldn’t say without all the facts. I worked in medicine for well over 40 years (part of the time in the VA as a PA) and it seems that someone should have caught the lab problem before now. Again, I do not have all the facts.

Have they done a colonoscopy, films or other testing ? I have lost over 100 lbs in the last two years but that was controlled and planned. Yours was not.

Those are good references you listed. Good information in them and in a few articles that were referred to.

Good luck on your labs and your grow. Let me know if you have questions or just want to talk. I may only be here intermittently for a while but if you tag me I will get a notification… Jerry


#428

@Countryboyjvd1971 @bob31 @Willd @garrigan65 @Coltfire @daz49 @kabongster @Niala and many others here.

I just wanted to say thanks for all your support and help over the last years. I have some really pressing family matters, pending divorce and what not else to deal with now. Going to go away for a while and get my head back on straight. I will stop in from time to time to say “Hi” and hopefully soon get back to my #1 love - Growing Cannabis !

Ya’ll take care and be safe ! Jerry


#429

Oh no !!! been there and seen more than my fair share of that kinda shit, so I know just how you feel, I hope things pick up for you my friend and all our thoughts are with you buddy, we’re here for you when ever you need us


#430

@TxGrowman good luck with your personal and do you brother
Talk to you soon hope all works out for the best
FYI I been there and that light you see at the end of the tunnel my Friend
Hope to see you soon
:v:️CB :cowboy_hat_face:


#431

You too Mr. :motorcycle: Man. Time heals all. You know the support of this community behind you is only a post away! Take care buddy!


#432

@TxGrowman, hey brother, take your time, heal your mind and take care of you , better times are coming soon …

Stop by time to time to say “hello” “allô” and give some news, Jerry :grinning::+1::ok_hand:

~Al :v: :innocent:


#433

Hope all are well. I found the greatest combo for sleeping. I take a nearly pure indica (80%) and add a slice of the Kaviar I got in CO. I put them in a vaporizer and smoked them. I was sleeping for 18 hours. I hadn’t slept in the previous 60+ hours and it was getting me burnt out. I felt great when I woke up. I used it last night and slept for about 10 hours. This is THE BEST sleeping medicine that I have seen work on me since I started working in medicine.

Cannabis IS medicine. Why can’t those Horses A - - es in Washington go attack an issue that means something (oh I don’t know, lets say starting with getting the budget passed) instead of the witch hunts they call drug control ?? It never has and never will stop the growing of cannabis. They know that, they just want the revenue that pot busts bring in. Say nothing of confiscating everything you own and using it to fund more busts and “extra’s” that they can do with the money. It just infuriates me that they can take away a plant placed on the earth by God and have NO proof that it has no medical value, when there is proof that it is a medicine. Cannabis is valuable to the Police only because they can use it to inflate their budgets and make more money. SAD !

OK, I’ll get off my soap box now. I am getting the hard stuff done and making progress on getting out of TX a little sooner than I thought. YEA ! ! :sparkler: :fireworks: :jack_o_lantern:

Hope I get to see you soon. Want to get to PA and hopefully get the property purchase under way before winter sets in.

Take care. Jerry :man_farmer::us:


#434

Was sitting outside yesterday and ran across this small writing that seemed to match the scenery I was looking at. Thought I’d share it with you. For me, there is no more beautiful season than the colors of fall and the crisp air that chills you lightly. Have a great fall my ILGM friends. Jerry

In Silent Wait For Autumn

Sun light through birch leaves
a thousand voices in the trees;
all they need
is a gentle breeze-
a light caress

A golden thread
made out of spider’s web
Lazy clouds in the sky
Slowly passing me by

Hidden in the shade
rests the fir-
and beneath
lies moss, berries and mushrooms

All in silent wait
for Autumn


#435

Thanks for sharing that :heart:


#436

@TxGrowman

Go get get’em Jerry…i’em with ya all the way to hell brother.

Will


#437

THIS REALLY SUCKS ! Putting her on leave with pay is like condoning murder ! Another example of the “Fine Care” that veterans get at the VA !


#438

Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I have attended a Veterans Ceremony already. My grandson is in K and when he found out there was a Veterans Program at his school he made sure “grandpa was coming” ! Can’t disappoint my grandson !

Was pretty cool. Got to meet a WW2 veteran that is in the Marine Corps League and is still up and about at 90+ years. He was hilarious and cracked us up after the program. There were about 30 Vets total attending. Most of us were on “Grandpa Duty” but the kids there really made up for it. They really worked hard to put on a nice program and they were great.

Almost all of the veterans had a medical problem or two. Several of us use medical pot and all of us have noticed that our pain med consumption has almost bottomed out since starting to use high CBD cannabis on a daily basis.

Hope Ya’ll have a great Veterans Day and thanks for your service. Jerry


#439

Right back at ya! I have a shirt for tomorrow. It says

The only thing I like better than being a Veteran is being a Grandpa!

I actually wear it all the time! @TxGrowman @Countryboyjvd1971


#440

I had a talk with my son. He said he wants to have MREs for dinner on Veterans Day.
He just turned 7 last month.
Guy at the bar next to me didn’t even know what an mre was