An initiative called Operation Grow4Vets is "cultivating hope" by providing free marijuana to Colorado veterans. "Our bravest deserve access to the natural, safe medicine they choose," the Grow4Vets website states. The project operates its own grow centers and accepts donations from home and commercial cannabis growers.
Under Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, giving away marijuana is legal.
In addition to providing marijuana directly to veterans, Grow4Vets also partners with manufacturers and farmers to teach veterans how to grow their own marijuana at home. And the group is establishing partnerships with local cannabusinesses to help veterans find employment as well.
After launching on Tuesday May 6, Grow4Vets saw more than 200 applications from veterans by Wednesday morning, according to CBS Denver. "True patriots support cannabis for heroes," Grow4Vets founder Roger Martin told CBS.
The Grow4Vets mission is both patriotic and rebellious. "Without [veterans'] sacrifice, we would not enjoy the peace and propriety at home that we often times take for granted," states the Grow4Vets website on a page titled "Why We Serve."
"As is too often the case in civilian medical care, the easiest answer for treating pain and emotional and mental conditions is pharmaceuticals. Most of these prescription medications are debilitating and many are extremely dangerous, highly-addictive narcotics. Far too many veterans feel that current treatment regimes are designed to keep them in a drug induced stupor for the rest of their lives….
Operation Grow4Vets believes that the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration need to make a commitment to providing injured and wounded service members and veterans with non-life threatening forms of treatment. The use of medical cannabis is a rational alternative."
Grow4Vets founder Martin is a U.S. Army veteran who was prescribed Oxycontin in the 1970s for injuries he obtained in the Vietnam War. He was hospitalized twice before ultimately quitting the narcotic under treatment with another narcotic, Suboxone, and medical marijuana. He quickly ditched the Suboxone, and "now eats a marijuana infused cookie at night to reduce his pain to a level where he can now sleep 4-6 hours a night," according to Martin's bio.
"Anyone who would deny treatment with marijuana to a seriously or terminally ill person is either incredibly uniformed, or simply lacks any measure of compassion for his or her fellow human beings," Martin said.