Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance - Giving Hope & Healing To Veterans Through Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana....this isn't something new. It's been a controversial topic for years and as more and more states are starting to legalize it, you may wonder how this affects our veterans?
In a recent article on CNN, the founders of Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance, speak about how impactful their work is in providing veterans with medical marijuana. Aaron Newsom & Jason Sweatt, the founders of this organization, came together years ago with a common passion for marijuana. Not in the sense to get high or to use recreationally, but to heal. Newsom had been secretly growing marijuana in his guest bedroom for a year before he even began to tell people about it. As a veteran of the Marines, having served in an attack helicopter squadron, he was feeling the effects of struggling to make the switch back to civilian life.
Right now, Medical Marijuana is considered illegal at the federal level and is not suggested by or prescribed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. After seeing himself heal by way of marijuana instead of a mix of opioids and other pills which are typically prescribed by the VA, Newsom & Sweatt began the company Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance. These gentlemen have made it their mission to provide free medical marijuana to veterans, who of course must show a doctor recommendation letter, valid ID and proof of service. Their organization is also run by veterans. These two are not only healing veterans with longtime hidden battle wounds but also hiring many of them. 95% of those hired at SCVA are on some type of service-connected disability.
While it may take many, many years for the Department of Veteran Affairs to jump on board, the message is clear out in California for countless veterans whose lives are being changed by a natural healing process. Forget about the pills and alcohol, these veterans are turning to healthier alternatives which is ultimately helping them to live better lives.
"On those drugs, it wasn't the quality of life that I wanted," Newsom said. "With medical cannabis, I had such great success. I could regulate myself and my hypervigilance, and I was able to get off those other pills."
Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance has become a place where veterans feel a sense of community. They are able to visit the dispensary and connect with other veterans. SCVA also provides additional resources to the veterans like where to find health care or financial assistance. We are so excited to learn about this amazing organization and hope this trend will continue across the country for our veterans!
You can read the full story of the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance here