By Steve Danyluk
Later this month, a small group of about six Veterans affiliated with Warfighter Hemp, are planning to meet with the members of the Cannabis Caucus as well as members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in the Nations Capitol. Our intent is to present the case for the Veterans Administration to study the potential benefits of CBD Oil derived not from Marijuana, but instead derived from Industrial Hemp that is grown in compliance with the 2014 Farm Bill.
Although from the same species, Marijuana and Hemp are two different plants. Marijuana is typically rich in THC, the cannabinoid known for getting a person high. Industrial Hemp, on the other hand, has virtually no THC and instead is rich in CBD, the compound generally associated with the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. CBD, most definitely, does not get one high, is non-addictive and is tolerance resistant.
Last month, Secretary David Shulkin, head of the Veterans Administration and member of President Trump’s cabinet, answered a letter sent by Congressman Tim Walz, ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, requesting that the VA study the potential benefits of Medical Marijuana. Shulkin denied the request using the circular, Catch-22 argument that the VA’s hands were tied because Marijuana is not federally legal and therefore, no University Research Department can study it.
While that may be the case with Marijuana, we hope to convince these members of Congress that this explanation does not hold up regarding CBD derived from Industrial Hemp. We also plan to ask them to go back to Secretary Shulkin and ask him to reconsider doing a VA study, not on Marijuana or products derived from Marijuana, but on what we feel is a game changing product of CBD derived from Federally compliant Industrial Hemp. We believe we have a compelling argument as to why Secretary Shulkin’s response should not be the end of the story.
Speaking as a Marine Corps combat Veteran I can attest as first-hand witnesses to the VA’s over-prescription of opiate-based medications and the devastating effects that this has had on our veteran population. The VA is the largest dispenser of opioids in the country. This over-reliance on opioids has played a heavy hand in generating another unfortunate statistic, the unacceptable suicide rate in the Veteran community which Government data demonstrates that twenty Veterans a day are dying by their own hand. Arguably, the VA is doing a better job of killing us than the Taliban ever did.
CBD derived from Federally legal Industrial Hemp presents a common sense to the problems many Veterans face due to the over prescription of these toxic medications and enough is enough. It is time for our nations lawmakers to and do something about a problem that not only affects our nations heroes but that is killing more Americans every year than were lost during the entire Vietnam War. We are going to Capitol Hill with the hope that Congressman Walz and the others will listen. Don’t we at least deserve that?
Mr. Danyluk is a retired Marine Corps, LtCol and currently serves as a Veterans consultant to Warfighter Hemp, www.warfighterhemp.com