Cannabis advocates are fuming mad right now over the Trump Administration’s latest decision to continue sandbagging military veterans when it comes to medical marijuana. It was just last week that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs voted against three separate measures designed to lift some of the restrictions that prevent Vets living in legal states from gaining access to the herb. Trump officials also shot down another proposal that would have made it possible for the scientific community to dig deeper into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis as it pertains to treating PTSD.
But no deal.
As far as Trump’s goons are concerned, as long as weed is illegal at the national level, Vets will just have to be content with sucking down dangerous, highly addictive narcotics and copious amounts of booze to ease the symptoms of their government-induced anxiety and pain. The message behind the VA’s decision is that there is no respect for the men and women of the armed forces.
They’re just disposable heroes.
No doubt, federal marijuana prohibition is causing more grief for these wounded soldiers than what they deserve. But the illegal nature of the cannabis plant at the national level is creating more snags for the troops than just preventing them from consuming marijuana as part of their medicinal arsenal.
Believe it or not, but Vets are actually being stripped of their retirement benefits due to having an association with the cannabis trade.
This insanity just happened to a 36-year-old retired Army Major by the name of Tye Reedy.
Although Reedy is a decorated military veteran who served for over a decade in both Iraq and Afghanistan, his retirement pension has gone up in smoke. This has nothing to do with him testing positive for marijuana, which remains at Schedule 1 outlaw substance in the eyes of the federal government, it is merely the ridiculous repercussion of a soldier choosing to work in the cannabis industry.
A recent report from Barrons indicates that Reedy’s position as the Director of Operations at Acreage Holdings – the cannabis firm that was just bought by Canopy Growth contingent on federal marijuana legalization— got him sh*t-canned from his duties as a part-time military academy liaison officer. Now, it will be impossible for him to collect the pension that most soldiers look forward to after putting in 20 years of service.
But Reedy’s good old Uncle Sam took the screw tactics a step further by rubbing it in his face that the dismissal was due to his lack of values.
“A military officer working in the cannabis industry runs contrary to Army values,” according to a statement provided by the U.S. Army. “Despite legalization by several states, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. The most current DOD and federal guidance states that all federal laws regarding marijuana remain in effect.”
Indeed, the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws has gone too far.
Not only do we have Vets losing their pensions due to affiliations with the cannabis trade, but a recent report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that cannabis industry workers are also being rejected from filing bankruptcy.
“The integrity of the judicial system requires that a bankruptcy court not be seen to even implicitly condone an activity that is illegal under federal law,” wrote an attorney for Acting U.S. Trustee Gregory Garvin in documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Oregon.
The time has come to legalize the leaf at the federal level once and for all. In doing so, all of the issues covered in this column would be solved. Veterans could use marijuana however they see fit, they could work in the cannabis industry without the risk of losing retirement benefits, and workers employed with cannabis-related businesses could jump ship on their financial obligations from time to time, as is the American way. The fact that Congress has not taken a more active role in making this happen should be considered the decay of patriotism and perhaps even a treasonous act. Too harsh? Tell that to Reedy who no longer gets retirement after spending years risking life and limb protecting the interests of the same government that is screwing him to his face.