The Veterans Alliance for Holistic Alternatives (VAHA) is asking for your help to legalize medical cannabis in North Carolina for those in need. We’re looking for veterans, spouses of veterans, and/or family members of veterans who have witnessed and/or personally experienced the medical efficacy of cannabis.
667,000 veterans in North Carolina according to the most recent American Community Survey in 2019
1/3 of the veteran community suffers from Multiple Chronic Conditions (MCC)
The veteran suicide rate in North Carolina is 2.4 times higher than the national average
North Carolina loses 9 residents a day to opioid and drug overdoses.
In North Carolina, a veteran commits suicide every 1.5 days
Veterans and others plead with NC lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana
Veterans push for medical marijuana in conservative South
VAHA’s Executive Director Gary Hess was invited to be a member of the National Cannabis Roundtable.
VAHA teamed up with Dr. Sue Sisley of SRI to file legislation against the United Stated Attorney General and Drug Enforcement Agency to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic.
North Carolina Veterans Unite for Medical Cannabis Debate VAHA-NC to amplify voices, work for passage of SB711
Raleigh, NC – The Veterans Alliance for Holistic Alternatives of North Carolina (VAHA-NC) is calling on members of the Republican Caucus of the North Carolina House of Representatives to vote in favor of moving the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act to consideration by the full body.
Below you will find a rundown of some of VAHA-NC’s key supporters and advocates. These are men and women who gave themselves to the service of our country willingly. They entered the military knowing and accepting there would be injury and possibly death. They risked themselves for their nation and the free world and believed that–should they survive–their government would honor their sacrifices by taking good care of them. Instead, they were fed addictive pills and medicines with side-effects that eventually gave rise to new conditions and did nothing to heal the old ones. Through luck and grace, they found their ways to medical cannabis.
Ashley Cooper, a veteran and a mother, served six years in the U.S. Air Force. She retired from active duty with an autoimmune disease, Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD. Side effects of VA-prescribed drugs debilitated her, delivered no healing and rendered her suicidal. Medical cannabis restored her vitality. Since beginning a regular regiment in 2019 while living in a legal state, she has completed her Masters degree in Social Work and embarked on a career of helping others. Without access to her medicine in North Carolina, her previously controlled symptoms have returned. She is no longer able to work and fears further degradation of her well-being.
Josh Biddix served our nation through the U.S. Marine Corps for six years and his community as a police officer for a decade. Diagnosed by the VA with Gulf War Syndrome, enduring persistent pain from 11 herniated discs and spinal stenosis, he also suffers from PTSD. Although he consciously avoided narcotic prescriptions, the muscle relaxants and pain pills he was prescribed rendered him unable to function. Several physicians discreetly recommended he try medical cannabis instead. He now uses it in place of stronger medications and has recovered the quality of life that pharmaceuticals took from him.
As a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Matt Mylott fought in two theaters of war in the Middle East. After eight years of service, he transitioned into life as a sheriff’s deputy in California. He spent nearly five years on patrol then completed three years of SWAT service. The traumas he endured during his career impacted him heavily. Self-medicating with alcohol and using prescribed psychotropic drugs compounded his symptoms. After retiring from law enforcement, he began using edible forms of medical cannabis to treat his condition. Through that, he found healing. Today, he lives a joyful and healthy life with his wife and children.
Myron Smith is a decorated law enforcement officer whose service in Washington, D.C. runs the gamut from patrolman to over 100 undercover narcotics operations. He has worked with the DEA, ATF, FBI, military and local law agencies to investigate narcotic drug operations and players for more than three decades, and he has served as a Resident Narcotic Expert for both the D.C. Superior Court and the U.S. District Court of Washington, D.C. Now an ordained pastor, Myron Smith is a strong advocate for medical cannabis.
Rob Rens served eight years in Mortuary Affairs in the U.S. Marine Corps. He dedicated himself to returning fallen heroes to their families in the most dignified way possible. After his service, the psychological wounds he endured became challenging. Without being properly medicated, his mental and physical health as well his interpersonal relationships began to deteriorate. His PTSD symptoms are managed with medical cannabis, but its illegal status forces him to–in his own words–live a secret double life.
Understanding the necessity and urgency of VAHA’s mission. The long-term pharmaceutical-based treatments for physical and mental health conditions continue to have severe negative impacts. This strategy is largely responsible for the decline in overall health, increased substance abuse, and an ever-increasing suicide rate among our communities. The time for change is now.
Proven Medical Efficacy – Over 30,000 peer-reviewed studies on Plant Medicine
The positive anecdotal response of the veteran and patient community cannot be ignored any longer
Safe Access – Allows patients to access medicine safely from a regulated medical dispensary instead of the black market
Not a Gateway Drug, It is an exit drug – In medically legal states opioid prescriptions have been reduced by over 30% in the first year.
Mental Health Needs – Proven as an adjunct therapy to facilitate recovery and post-traumatic growth
Plant Medicine brings balance to our essential functions – Eating, Sleeping, Digestion, Arousal, Memory and Emotion
Opiate-sparing Properties – Plant Medicine is proving to be an exit drug for those who become addicted to the pharmaceuticals prescribed by their own physicians
Qualifying conditions are cancer, epilepsy, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or persistent nausea in a person who is not pregnant that is related to end of life or hospice care, or who is bedridden or homebound because of a condition, a terminal illness when the patient’s remaining life expectancy is less than six months, and any other serious medical condition or its treatment added by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board.
This will be required in North Carolina’s Compassionate Care Act, SB711, which makes access for those in need incredibly safe. Unlike what North Carolinians are being forced to buy off of the street, A Certificate of Analysis (CoA) is a document provided by a third-party lab that analyses the various compounds found in your plant medicine. You can also find other information in a COA such as manufacturer information, testing method used, and batch data.
In 36 other states veterans are voting with their feet and turning to ‘Plant Medicine’. Medical programs have proven safe when well-regulated and frees veterans to consult with their own physician about their own health outcomes.
There has been no lethal dose found for medicine. Plant Medicine actually has no effect on our breathing modulation, unlike opioids, which makes it impossible to overdose, yet our medical professionals are still prescribing the same medications these men and women are taking their life with.