A nonprofit group in Denver handed out free marijuana to hundreds of military veterans. The group claims they were handing out the free samples in hopes that veterans would see that marijuana could be used to ease their pain.
According to ABC News, members of a group called Operation Grow4Vets said the Saturday event was aimed specifically at military veterans. The goal of the group was to offer veterans an alternative to prescription drugs to help with anxiety, pain and other problems. The organization also says it gave out 400 bags of marijuana-infused products at the Denver Cannabis Giveaway. Roger Martin is the group’s founder. As a military veteran himself, he sees many different ways in which marijuana can be used to treat conditions in veterans.
“We’re really here to help them with their medical conditions. There’s a wide variety of ailments. Anything that involves pain.”
The group suggests marijuana as a treatment for a whole host of medical conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder. However, Colorado just this year rejected marijuana as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, so the condition is not on the list of ailments for which doctors can recommend medical marijuana. However, recreational use of the drug is completely legal in Colorado for anyone over the age of 21. It is also legal in the state to give away marijuana for free.
Though Colorado does not recognize pot as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, many veterans claim they have experienced the benefits first-hand. Stephanie Burton, a veteran Army nurse, told KCNC-TV that she struggles with PTSD, and marijuana helps her sleep at night. Afghanistan veteran Brian Nance, 29, said he used marijuana to wean him off morphine after he fell 40 feet into a ravine and broke his back.
CBS News reports that though marijuana can have many benefits for military veterans, some people are questioning handing out free pot to veterans in this manner. Bob Doyle of the Colorado Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Coalition is one such skeptic.
“These people are getting marijuana with varying degrees of potency and THC. That could cause things like paranoia. Obviously things that we wouldn’t want somebody with PTSD to be experiencing.”
However, when reporters spoke to veterans who received marijuana at the event, many spoke positively of marijuana use as treatments for various ailments. Many noted that marijuana is their only option as they are allergic to harsher treatments offered by doctors.
What do you think of the group’s efforts to educate military veterans on medical marijuana use by offering free pot at events?