The cannabis community is as compassionate as it is cutthroat.
“Veterans Walk and Talk” has been highly active in cannabis activism lately. We have advocated and medicated at American Legion Post 397 in Monterey Park and Post 134 in Paramount, CA. We were able to medicate on sight during a Cannabis Open House at the Monterey Park American Legion Post 397 thrown by the 420 Support Group. The American Legion is known to have well stocked bars in every post where veterans can gather together. Gathering veterans is of course a great idea, however, the alcohol aspect is something that must be addressed during this suicide rampant time. A safe place to medicate is what these American Legion Posts are now gearing towards with the help of critical thinking leadership set on helping the veteran suicide epidemic. The Roseville Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1487 has also recognized the work of cannabis advocates by honoring several of us with “Outstanding Community Service Recognition” given by the California State Legislatures 6th District Representative Assemblyman Kevin Kiley. Along with Veterans Walk and Talk the other honorees included Weed for Warriors and Operation EVAC. It was truly a great day for cannabis and veterans. It capped off an 8 day trip I took up to Northern California.
I left the incredible Rancho Ecomar Farms and drove into a storm about 222 miles before pulling over and sleeping in my truck. I awoke in the trees and knew I was on the right path. I arrived at Emerald Campgrounds in Trinidad, CA and setup my tent and established a dry area to sit in. It was raining hard and I smoked a piney OG to relax into the night. It rained hard and I spent some time fixing leaks until I was dialed in and dry. And in heaven. Sweet solitude overtook me and though I was alone I was never lonely. I woke to see the biggest and baddest trees I’ve ever seen and realized immediately why the best cannabis in the world is grown here. The air, soul, and sun are all vital but it’s the vibe that cannot be duplicated. The area truly deserves the creation of an appellation of origin. Which is based on the French term appellation d’origine contrôlee. This would give cannabis from the famed Mendocino and Humboldt Counties the certificates of tradition they need to keep what they’ve clearly earned with tireless hours and the constant threat of arrest for many years. Many of these farmers have saved lives with the medicine they grow and that cannabis is as special as the vibration off the redwoods. We can all acknowledge that cannabis is tripping over itself. Recreational is stepping on the medicinal side and vice versa and we who have had our lives saved by this plant are left in the middle. But the ones who have put in the time deserve to have what they have given protected and recognized. Cannabis is center stage in Northern California and not just in the traditional sense. It is a livelihood and a way back to our lives. It is our passion and our hobby. Our medicine and our recreation. My time amongst the trees of NorCal taught me that there is more beauty and wonder in the world than I ever thought. I will not rest until every veteran and human in the country has the right to choose cannabis.
Our mission here at @veteranswalkandtalk continues to grow and consistently provides a safe place for veterans to share their experiences and learn about the benefits of holistic medicine. We have opened a High Desert, California Chapter, @veteranswalkandtalkHD. We are focused on getting veterans to understand cannabis and all it can do to help us get back doing what we love. For us we love the outdoors and we love serving our fellow humans. What we are doing is working for every veteran that steps off with us and it is imperative that our mission is taken seriously. To paraphrase the great JFK “we must not behave so petty when our cause is so great.” Cannabis and its power to heal and unify is at the forefront of our mission. Our work with @veteranscannacoalition will change the world and we will do it hand in hand one step at a time.
Colin Wells is an Army Infantry Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and the founder of @veteranswalkandtalk, a group of veterans who hike, provide outreach, and advocate for the use of holistic remedies. He sits on the Advocacy Board of the Veterans Cannabis Coalition @veteranscannacoalition and writes for www.laughterunderfire.org