SEATTLE – The brave men and women who have sacrificed their well-being in service to our country deserve access to all treatments that could potentially help them manage the often-severe medical consequences of combat.
The severity of war-related injuries — both mental and physical — continues to threaten veterans across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), nearly 20 percent of the 2.7 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will experience either post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. And nearly 60 percent returning from the Middle East are living with some form of chronic pain.
The Invictus Foundation is continually exploring ways to continue to expand access to crucial treatment options and programs that assist veterans who are struggling with post-war illnesses. This includes making medical cannabis available to veterans and the well-being it can provide to them, states Peter J. Whalen, CEO of the Invictus Foundation.
Buddy’s is a multiple award-winning recreational and medical cannabis retail dispensary located in Renton, WA since 2006. Buddy’s ownership, management and dedicated staff is committed to serving the community and has created a monthly program which generates a substantial contribution to the Invictus Foundation and the needs of veterans.
The use of medical cannabis is widely supported among veterans, with 83 percent supporting access to medical cannabis, and 89 percent saying they would pursue the option if it was made available to them.
Since VA physicians cannot recommend or advise patients to use medical cannabis so long as cannabis remains federally illegal, VA medical professionals will continue to offer prescription drugs that can have addictive and long-lasting side effects. Many veterans struggling with chronic pain are likely to be prescribed opioid-based painkillers, which have devastated communities across the country in recent years.
As a result, the harmful effects of opioids have disproportionately impacted veterans, as evidenced by the National Institute of Health (NIH), which found that veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses than civilians. Research has found that certain states that have legalized access to cannabis ultimately reduced opioid deaths by nearly 20 percent.
To achieve our goal of expanding access and availability of medical grade cannabis to our military-related PTSD population the Invictus Foundation is partnering with Buddy’s Cannabis in Renton. We believe Buddy’s retail footprint in the Seattle metropolis will provide veterans suffering from military-related PTSD expanded access to effective and reliable medical grade cannabis treatments for post-war conditions.
The Invictus Foundation’s long term goal is to form alliances with the CannaBusiness Associations in every state where the use of cannabis has been legalized. We will partner with these CannaBusiness Associations to improve access, availability, training and education around the utilization of cannabis for the treatment of military-related PTSD.