DENVER -- War veterans in Colorado now have access to free marijuana. The Grow4Vets organization is launching a program that will provide them with smokable and edible pot. All of that access comes with a new health warning though, doctors want vets and anyone else who uses marijuana to make sure they let their health care provider know before being prescribed any medications.
A growing number of war veterans say marijuana can ease the pain of injuries and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) many develop after serving their country. In an interview with FOX31 Denver News Iraq war veteran Sean Azzariti explained what it’s like to live with PTSD. “It’s a crippling thing to take over, and cannabis, it helps.”
Those in Colorado are happy to have access to legal marijuana. Operation Grow4Vets will offer free marijuana, along with equipment to grow the plants as a way to get around medical marijuana requirements that have restricted veterans in the past.
The Veterans Administration Eastern Colorado Healthcare System will not stand in their way.
Spokesperson Dan Warvi says, “Use of state approved marijuana does not disqualify a veteran for healthcare, it will not result in any sort of retaliation or denial of services.”
Unfortunately, many veterans don't want to tell their doctor they are using marijuana and medical experts say that could be extremely dangerous when it comes to their health.
Warvi says, “Some medications do have dangerous interactions with THC which is a component of marijuana and we want to sit down with veterans and say look you told us you're on this, what do you want, we want to help you get better.”
The Grow4Vets project is receiving plenty of support.
Artie Guerrero was injured in the Vietnam war. While he says he won't smoke marijuana he supports his fellow veterans all the way and adds, “If it helps them then fine ... one of the freedoms I fought for in Vietnam was to have the freedom to do anything you want.”
Guerrero also says that right comes with an obligation to use marijuana responsibly. Veterans must sign up online to participate in the program. For more information about Grow4Vets, visit www.grow4vets.org . Any business or individuals who would like to donate supplies are welcome to contact organizers at (719) 799-6412.