These women vets are fighting a tough battle for cannabis use

Justin Caffier
Nov 11, 2019

[All year round, veterans receive 25% off all cannabis deliveries from Eaze. Here’s how.]

Over the past few years, as more and more research has revealed the medicinal benefits of cannabis, a number of advocacy groups like Weed for Warriors and Operation Evac have formed to fight for veterans’ rights to medicate with THC and CBD products.

With the bleak reality of the opioid epidemic forcing everyone to rethink their relationship with pharmaceutical painkillers, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of vets have turned to this alternative. And that’s why Eaze offers a 25 percent discount for vets on all of our products.

Sargent Raquel Mangone, who served from 1995-2007 in Iraq and Afghanistan was taking 18 to 20 pain pills a day before switching to cannabis. She says the transition has made her a better mother and listener and allows her “to be present in [her] interactions instead of feeling like a zombie.”

Catharine Edney, who says she developed PTSD during her time serving as a military air traffic controller, initially used antidepressants to treat her illness. After discovering that cannabis was “the medicine she needed,” she finally got off “so many pills” that were being given to her by the military and began treating the issue on her own terms.

Linci Comy, who served in the Navy for 6 years and 8 months as a Hospital Corpsman and also ran a women’s clinic in Oakland for 30 years, says that access is the biggest issue facing Veterans. “Through Prop 215, [which legalized medical cannabis], there was lots of access, but adult use has ended that. We are collateral damage to a law that was not well thought out.”

Linci Comy says, “People deserve to thrive and live, and cannabis is a life-saving medicine.”

Despite cannabis’ increased legality throughout the nation, veterans seeking such remedies still face a number of hurdles on both state and federal levels. The DEA’s Schedule I classification of cannabis prevents VA clinicians from recommending it to their patients. In California, low-income patients who relied on compassionate care programs for subsidized medicine were stymied by the 2016 passage of Prop 64. An oversight in the law meant to decriminalize possession and personal use of cannabis placed undue regulatory and tax constraints on these non-profit programs.

Mangone says she was already sharing cannabis to get by before Prop 64, but when the law when into effect, rising costs and closing dispensaries made the situation even more dire.

Last month, this error in Prop 64 was finally remedied when Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 34 into law. This major victory, thanks to the unwavering advocacy of veterans across the state, will allow tax-free donations of cannabis to patients in need.

This victory demonstrates just how crucial these advocacy groups are. Volunteers like Mangone, Edney and Comy worked hard to get SB 34 passed, but changing decades of misguided drug policies takes both time and funds. For those who can’t donate to the cause, there are still ways to stick up for pro-cannabis vets, and it starts with disabusing one’s self of the notion that these patients are simply looking to get high.

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