Educating Veterans About Cannabis
We advise, organize with & help fund the work of on-the-ground charities like Operation E.V.A.C. in the SF Bay Area, whose Mission is to support veteran growth & healing through mutual assistance, personal development & community service.
Educates veterans on their rights and their options with regard to personal health management. We showcase and support positive veteran stories and experiences as a leading example of medical options utilizing cannabis. We also work to dispel cultural myths and remove the stigma surrounding cannabis use.
Mutual-Aid “Drop Love Bombs” Campaign
Veterans Cannabis Project is dedicated to improving U.S. military veterans’ quality of life through the opportunity of cannabis. We believe medical cannabis saves lives and that veterans deserve full, legal access.
Heal focuses on supporting medical research that legitimizes cannabis as a safer alternative to many legal, but ineffective and damaging, treatments for veteran specific conditions. We also provide our community with unbiased, research-based information about medical cannabis based firmly in both the research we support and in common sense.
Meetings occur online several times weekly, where vets come together to laugh, cry, reply to a thoughtful prompt, check-in & share experiences, and what’s on our minds hearts, ending with a centering, 20-min. meditation session with iRest Yoga Nidra & distribution of tested compassionate Cannabis donations.
That is why VCP is working to change the conversation about the life-saving health treatment value of cannabis by
Advocating on behalf of veterans’ cannabis access
Educating policymakers and the public about the value of cannabis to veterans to eliminate stigma
Supporting veterans across the nation with the resources they need to understand the value of medical cannabis and know their rights while arming them with the tools they need to encourage policy change
Creating a community that can heal our nation’s broken approach to cannabis and provide veterans with safe, legal access
Ryan Miller runs Operation E*V*A*C (Educating Veterans About Cannabis) based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Their mission is to “support the growth and healing of veterans through mutual assistance, personal development, and community service.” He hosts 16 veterans meetings a month across six different cannabis dispensaries, serving about 80 veterans.
Miller is now training another facilitator so the program can expand into the South Bay in Northern California. Each facilitators has studied “Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery” by the Veterans Yoga Project. They undertook Peer Specialist Training with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, enabling them to provide peer support through the VA, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
How do they guide veterans to use cannabis? Miller replies: “Cannabis is so subjective. Really it’s going to be trial and error until the patient figures out what’s best for them. We can offer guidance on how to trial and error safely.”
Advocates on behalf of the millions of veterans who should have the right to manage pain and health issues with safe medications, and to ensure veterans’ voices are heard and amplified through the halls of Congress, the VA and the current administration.
Miller suggests people begin with edibles: start with a conservative portion, wait 60-90 minutes for onset, then maybe take more if you need it. If people take too much, he suggests that taking CBD can help balance the impact of THC, and black pepper as well. (Because it contains terpenes, smelling black pepper can help people come down a bit immediately and chewing black peppercorns can help balance the high in about an hour.) Where did he pick up his knowledge? From years working at Bay Area dispensaries, learning from the patients and their experiences.
Do veterans have unique consumption patterns? Miller responds immediately: “Veterans tend to be on the higher end of consumption, in terms of milligram content, in terms of frequency. Of course they’re all different, they’re not a homogenous group, but it’s definitely on the higher end of consumption.”
This high consumption rate means that veterans are not happy about the 100 mg milligram limits for edibles in California. You can’t buy a single 1,000 mg edible brownie; now edibles can’t have more than 100 mg in a package. So someone with PTSD who needs 1,000 mg each morning to manage their anxiety must purchase and consume ten 100 mg brownies. Miller remarks acidly “you’re going to treat people’s pain but give them diabetes.”
Ryan Miller currently hosts veteran’s services in a dispensary setting. Thinking big, he wants to use that as an advocacy platform, promoting safe access for veterans in every state. “You shouldn’t have to leave your friends, your family, your work, your community, your church, to come to California, Washington, Colorado to get your medicine.” Miller observes veterans coming to California and sleeping in their cars to get access to cannabis to treat their pain.
“We fought for the country, not the state.”
What about the long term? Miller envisions safe access to cannabis for active duty troops: “We’re doing the work that the VA should be doing,” he says. “because the VA should be giving compassionate cannabis to troops like they are so willing to do with opioids & antidepressants.”
We asked Ryan Miller what a delivery service could do to help support veteran communities. We agreed we could help spread the word about Operation EVAC with articles like this. And, Miller suggested, we could help veterans get access to cannabis. Whenever possible, we work with local partners to offer Veterans a discount on their cannabis delivery purchases. We believe cannabis is powerful medicine and we want to promote healing where it can provide real benefit. We’re excited to offer more affordable cannabis, especially to those people with limited mobility.