Four of us from NJ – NJWeedman, Phil, Jason Arnold and I – drove to D.C. on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, Veterans Day. We went down for a veteran marijuana march and rally at the White House, hosted by The Weed for Warriors Project, aimed at building support for the Veterans Equal Access Amendment. Demonstrators argued that Veterans Affairs clinics are over-medicating veterans, prescribing them a large number of psychoactive medications and opioids to treat PTSD, which led to opioid addiction and overdoses. Moreover, veterans complained that they couldn’t speak about medical marijuana openly with their VA doctors. On November 10, only the day before the rally, the Senate passed legislation allowing doctors to discuss medical cannabis as a treatment option for patients in 23 states. “For the first time,” wrote Fox News, “Veterans Health Administration doctors will be able to authorize medical marijuana use for patients.”
According to Time magazine’s special edition on marijuana this September: “By some estimates, at least 20 percent of the 2.3 million American veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars suffered from PTSD. Half didn’t seek treatment. Of those who did, only half received adequate treatment. For too many, the pain and depression became unbearable. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported that between 2005 and 2011, an average of 22 young veterans committed suicide every day – more than 8,000 a year.” (Bruce Barcott, “Marijuana Goes Main Street,” Time, Sept. 2015, 25-26.)
Several leading veterans from the Weed for Warriors Project spoke on Fully Baked Radio at Weedman’s Joint in Trenton two days earlier. One of them had followed Weedman’s career for a while and asked Weedman, a military veteran, to come out for the rally, and he agreed. Dozens of veterans “occupied” McPherson’s Square in D.C. for two days prior to the event, so on Wednesday the march left from the Park and toward the Department of Veterans Affairs, which then headed to the White House.
The NJ crew missed the rally at Veterans Affairs. All of our GPS systems were failing on us. We all almost ended up in prison for a year, after the GPS took us to a military base on Federal property, an automatic year on probation or in jail. We only got out of the situation by pleading ignorance and Weedman whipping out his veterans ID card to prove we were merely visiting the area. As if Weedman were using a Jedi mind trick against the guards, they let us leave through the gates without searching the car that smelled of weed. We finally arrived and joined the rally in front of the White House, where military veterans dumped hundreds of prescription bottles on the ground to represent the lack of proper medical care for veterans. Speaker after speaker discussed the need for medical marijuana to treat PTSD and other conditions. “There’s something seriously wrong going on. It’s disgusting,” said Jose Martinez, 27, a triple amputee who stepped on a bomb while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. “Here on Veterans Day, we have to acknowledge that this change has to happen,” said Brandon Wyatt, 31, who served in Iraq for two years when he was 18 and later graduated from Howard University law school.
We then attended an after party in D.C. at the home of one of the rich inventors of the Magical Butter Machine. He had four vehicles outside the home with his logo spray painted over them (including a school bus). Workshops were held by his chef and by other experts on D.C.’s laws.