Taking their cue from their Commander-in-Chief, who refuses to re-classify medical cannabis as a drug worthy of research for wounded veterans, the Judge Advocate General’s office at West Point stripped decorated Army Major Tye Reedy of his pension for joining leading cannabis company, Acreage Holdings. (Acreage Holdings was recently acquired by industry-heavyweight Cannabis Growth Corporation for $3.4 billion dollars.)
The Judge Advocate General’s office wrote Reedy a letter saying that joining a cannabis company was a disgrace to the military.
“Reedy went to West Point just before Sept 11, 2001, and ended up on active duty for 11 years. He served two yearlong combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, led units in the “surge campaigns” in both wars, and was awarded four Bronze Stars,” Barrons’ Brett Arends writes.
Technically, West Point has merely stripped Reedy of his job as a part-time military academy liaison officer, working with potential recruits, Arends writes.
However, the Army’s spiteful firing denies Reedy the opportunity to complete the 20 years in the Army, needed to receive his pension.
“We are unable to comment on individual cases,” West Point told Barrons in a statement. “However, despite legalization in several states, marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under Federal law.”
“Three veterans just committed suicide in Veterans Administration parking lots in five days,” Reedy told Barrons. “This is medicine.”
While Reedy is being stripped of the pension, both former Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who skipped out of the Navy during the Vietnam War due to a back injury; and former Massachusetts Governor, William Weld (who’s running against Trump on the Republican ticket) are reaping multi-million salaries, serving on Acreage’s board of directors.
Navy Seal, George Hodgins, a Second Victim
Navy Seal, George Hodgins tells Vox’s German Lopez “the moment he gets approval from the Federal government, his company is ready to produce high-quality marijuana for research—and nearly two dozen university researchers are on board to buy it for studies that could help fill the surprisingly large void in what we know about marijuana’s benefits and harms.”
However, the Department of Justice refuses to give him the approval he needs to start growing his product, Lopez says, despite the fact that cannabis legalization is at all-time high, according to a Gallup poll that puts support for pot legalization at 66 percent in 2018, up from 60 percent in 2016 and 31 percent in 2000.
“I feel like the government I fought to protect doesn’t understand the urgency of this problem,” Hodgin, who served in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia, told Lopez.
“My story should be the American dream: a Navy SEAL uses the GI Bill to get a graduate education and start a company that helps Americans and creates jobs but sadly, the DOJ and DEA are playing politics with science and lives.”
“We only want to provide clean consistent, compliant cannabis for researchers Hodgin, CEO of the California-based Biopharmaceutical Research Company, told Lopez.
“We are sitting on one of the most sophisticated cannabis production facilities in the United State. And it’s empty, because the federal government is playing politics with something that is apolitical.”
Lopez writes, recreational and medical cannabis is legal in 10 states and 22 states have legalized medical cannabis.
“However, universities seeking Federal funds face tremendous legal barriers if they want to research the drugs, Lopez reports.
More like Oregano than Pot
Under Federal law, only one licensed grower at the University of Mississippi is permitted to produce pot for researchers throughout the United States.
“But the quality of this marijuana is terrible—it looks more like oregano that pot,” Lopez writes.
It’s not potent enough to test for its risks and benefits.
Hodkins applied for his growing license under a program started under President Obama intended to recruit more federally approved growers for marijuana research.
When Donald Trump chose Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, who said that “good people don’t smoke pot”, the program was cut.
A former Drug Enforcement Administration told Lopez “the agency was ready to move forward” but its hands were tied without Justice Department approval.
Military Doctors Face Prosecution
Veterans Administration doctors are hobbled by the Federal government’s anti-cannabis policy, at a time when the suicide rate among veterans fighting chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety and depression, is at an all-time high.
“On average, more than 20 military veterans die by suicide every day, often due to chronic pain, PTSD or other service-related conditions, “Barcott writes.
Military doctors face DEA prosecution if they so much as recommend it to their patients, as the DEA reports to Trump’s Justice Department.
“And Trump refuses to allow them medical marijuana”, Bruce Barcott of Leafly writes in his article earlier this month, “Time to admit it: Trump Opposes Cannabis Legalization.
Trump Refuses to Codify VA Reforms
Demonstrating his usual cruelty, Trump has refused to codify into law the VA’s 2017 reformed policy protecting veterans from losing their military benefits if they test positive on a cannabis drug test.
Just following orders, Keita Franklin, national director of suicide prevention in the VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, told Barcott that DEA officials “advised VA that no provision of the Controlled Substances Act would be exempt from criminal sanctions.”
“That’s a polite way to threaten VA doctors with arrest by DEA agents,” Barcott concludes.
VA Opposes Bills Aiding Veterans.
Earlier this month, the House Veteran’s Affairs Committee held a hearing on three bills that would loosen restrictions on veterans who smoke medical cannabis, Barcott reports.
“One bill would allow VA healthcare providers to write state-legal medial cannabis recommendations for veterans who quality. Federal law currently prohibits them from doing so”, Barcott writes.
“A second bill would direct the VA to conduct a clinical study on the risks and benefits of medical marijuana.
“A third would prevent him VA from stripping veterans of their hard-earned benefits just because they consume state-legal cannabis.
“The Trump Administration opposed all three. That’s not merely nonsensical. It’s cruel”, Barcott concludes.
Mitch McConnell: Vehemently Opposed
Thadeus Greenson, of the North Coast Journal, tells American Legal News “the Congressional rank and file, believe in green-lighting medical marijuana research and protection for veteran cannabis users, but old-timey leaders, specifically Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, are vehemently against cannabis legalization.”
Unfortunately, so is Democratic Presidential front-runner, Joe Biden, who served as chair of the Judiciary Committee as an anti-pot zealot at a time when people were locked up in prison for smoking a joint.
Biden’s anti-pot position has not evolved to support veterans’ needs, although he’s the father of Beau Biden, a veteran who died of brain cancer after serving as officer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the 2003 Iraqi war.Since cannabis reform—especially for wounded veterans—is supported by the other 21 Democratic Presidential contenders (and William Weld, who’s running on the Republican ticket against Donald Trump), cannabis advocates say Biden better change his anti-pot rhetoric if he wants to win the Democratic primaries and beat Donald Trump.