The Weed for Warriors Project (“WFW”), a veterans-advocacy group based in California, today announced the debut of a billboard and social media campaign challenging politicians who are denying medical patients legal access to cannabis and throwing up barriers to the future of the industry.
“The history of cannabis industry advocacy has been to treat politicians with kid gloves. Looks to me like veterans have taken those gloves off,” said Jason Beck, owner and founder of Alternative Herbal Health Services dispensaries in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Beck, who sits on the boards of numerous not-for-profit criminal justice reform groups, has regularly provided his insights on the cannabis industry for over twenty years to federal, state, and local government officials and legislators.
WFW was established in 2014 to advocate for veterans’ access to cannabis — viewed as a key tool to combating the devastating toll of opioid addiction among veterans and others. According to the University of California Davis, research shows that where medicinal cannabis is legally accessible, there are lower drug overdoses and suicide rates. Veterans represent 7% of the American population, but account for 20% of its suicides. Despite this knowledge, WFW says opioid abuse and overdoses continue unabated. WFW activities support safe cannabis access, veteran rehabilitation programs, community engagement, continuing education and political advocacy.
“Over and over we’ve stated that what’s critically needed is more retail access and reduced tax and regulatory burdens. Despite our best efforts, politicians like State Senator Melissa Hurtado continue taking positions that undermine the development of a functional legal cannabis industry. She represents an obstruction to rational legislation which could alleviate some of the pressure felt in our community and her actions have contributed to the destabilization of California’s already floundering cannabis industry,” said Weed For Warriors executive director, Sean Kiernan. “Casting votes which directly harm veterans, their families, neighbors and the considerable agricultural interests she represents is indefensible.”
Beck, who also founder and vice president of the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, added, “This could be the bell that wakes the industry up from being a political victim.” According to the GACC, the typical governmental approach to cannabis has long disadvantaged industry and consumers. To that end, the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce presents policy solutions to federal lawmakers to eliminate the patchwork of laws that inhibit industry growth and consumer access to safe products.Advertisement
With strong support within the current U.S. administration and Congress for reforming cannabis banking, taxes and other key regulations, advocacy groups like Weed for Warriors stepping into the political area may be both timely and long over-due.
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