At Revolutionary Clinics, we pride ourselves on listening to each one of our patients and thoroughly understanding the physical and emotional challenges they’re striving to overcome. Over the years, we’ve been deeply moved by many of our patients and their stories of life-changing accidents, heartbreaking trauma and tragic losses. We treat every patient as an individual but within just a few months after we opened our doors in 2017, we noticed that a large percentage of our patients were military veterans. In addition to the shared bond of military service, these patients also shared a lot of the same physical and emotional challenges as well as the same concerns about their ability to receive and pay for their medication.

In this post, we’re going to share how our veteran patients have inspired us to help them beyond their individual needs and serve them with the same level of dedication with which they served our country.

Veterans are three times more likely to overdose from opioids

From the emotional pain of being separated from family and friends for months or even years at a time to the physical pain of intense training, every veteran has made sacrifices whether they saw combat or not. Those who have seen action have shared stories with us that have impacted our Patient Advocates in profound ways. We won’t get into details, but when you listen to the things some veterans have been through, you understand why veterans are three times more likely to overdose from opioids. And when you consider the fact that there are nearly 65,000 veterans living in the state of Massachusetts, that’s a statistic that needs to be addressed.

Veterans are losing access to pain medications with no alternatives

In response to the alarming statistics about veterans and opioids, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs has been “tapering” the prescription of addictive opioids. While the VA’s efforts to maintain the safety of veterans are noble, their pain persists. Pain that can most definitely be treated with medical marijuana except for the fact that under current rules and regulations, the VA will not contribute any money towards the purchase of any cannabis products. This leaves veterans in a very difficult place and at Revolutionary Clinics, we see and hear their struggles every day.

Medical marijuana is an effective treatment for veterans’ most common challenges

According to the initial results of an ongoing survey by the Cannabis Community Care and Research Group the most common challenges Massachusetts veterans are struggling with are chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, arthritis and insomnia. In addition to alleviating the symptoms of these issues, medical marijuana can also help veterans reduce their use of opioids. This makes every veteran an excellent candidate for medical marijuana with one big problem: since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, VA doctors are prohibited from recommending medical marijuana to their patients.

Despite the potential of medical marijuana, veterans worry they may lose their federal VA benefits if they admit to using medical marijuana

Under current law, veterans cannot lose their federal benefits for using medical marijuana but there are no guarantees for the future. That’s why the Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act is so important. Introduced by Florida Congressman and Iraq War Veteran Craig Steub, this bill would ensure that the current protections continue indefinitely. “As a veteran, I’m committed to ensuring that veterans receive the care they deserve, and I know that sometimes that care can include medical marijuana,” said Congressman Steube following the introduction of the bill. “Receiving the appropriate treatment to address your health care needs—using products that are legal in the state in which you live—should not preclude you from your Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.”

At Revolutionary Clinics, we never thought our work would pull us into politics but in addition to supporting this bill, we’ve been inspired to launch a new non-profit organization that’s all about advocating for veterans:

Revolutionary Clinics is a founding partner of Alternative Treatment for Veterans, a 501c3 non-profit organization

Between the sheer number of veterans we serve as patients and the profound impact their stories have had on us, we at Revolutionary Clinics have become passionate advocates for veterans and their needs. Recently, our own Judy Gosselin joined Dan Stack, Dept. Adjutant of Disabled American Veterans, Dr. Marion McNabb of C3RN; Stephen Mandile, of Veterans Alternative Healing, Inc. and veteran/cannabis industry consultant Matt McKenna as founding partners of Alternative Treatment for Veterans.

In addition to educating veterans about the healing powers of cannabis, Alternative Treatment for Veterans will also help veterans secure free or discounted medical marijuana cards and be a driving force for the veterans survey that will provide the necessary data for future advocacy efforts. If you’re a veteran and you’re interested in participating in the survey, CLICK HERE to get started!

If you’re a veteran, you save 20% on products at Revolutionary Clinics

At Revolutionary Clinics, we’re proud to honor all veterans with a 20% discount on all medical marijuana products (excluding accessories) at all of our dispensaries. For veterans who are classified as 100% disabled, we double the discount to 40% out of respect for their sacrifice. Helping veterans overcome their challenges and live happier, more satisfying lives truly is one of our greatest passions.

Whether you’re a veteran or you know a veteran who could benefit from an alternative treatment plan, please give us a call at 617-213-6006. We’d love to learn more about your situation and share some resources with you that can make an enormous impact on your quality of life.