It’s unfortunate that our own government doesn’t do as much as they could to take care of veterans once they return home – but at least there are good-hearted people out there who are willing and able to do as much as they can.
With veterans fighting for the right to use cannabis as a treatment for PTSD, it comes as no surprise that someone would consider offering free marijuana to those who have served our country.
This is exactly what Steve Defino set out to do when the owner of The Dab Lounge partnered up with a group called the Veteran Farmers Alliance to create an event they called “Spring Bake”. During the event Defino handed out edibles and over a half a pound of marijuana to veterans last Saturday.
“I’ve seen other organizations operate, and I’m not very happy with the way they do it,” Defino said. “They need to be donating more and doing more to show these guys that they actually care.”
Defino has struggled with PTSD himself for 10 years – it was only with marijuana that he was able to find relief. The use of cannabis allowed him to sort through his memories without getting so upset and he hopes that his contribution will help veterans in need find the same peace and relief.
“I’ve talked to guys that are ready to kill themselves. They’re ready to take their own life because they feel like nobody is there for them. So this is a small way to say thank you for what you’ve done,” he said.
One of the veterans at the Spring Bake event named Jacinto Delgado served in the Iraq War and now suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury. As a result, for the longest time he would go 3 or 4 days at a time without sleep – until he was introduced to cannabis about three years ago.
Though the relief is short-lived, meaning on-going treatment and counseling is the best route for veterans, the fact that something helps at all is a miracle. It helps them to reduce the hyper-alertness, the feeling that they must always be on their guard – it helps them to cope with the traumatic experiences of war and to be able to become a part of our everyday society again.
“This save lives. This will take [the depression or anxiety] off their mind, at least temporarily, until they can find some more permanent help or relief,” Defino said.
While this first event was only for a day, it was only the start of something bigger. Defino spent about $1400 on the edibles and cannabis provided to veterans during Spring Bake. For the future they are planning to hand out around $25,000 worth of marijuana, seeds and planting materials on Veterans Day this year.