A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
This picture really speaks to me about the issues that Veterans face when they return from combat areas. Having experienced a similar outcome from the Veteran Affairs here in Connecticut, it got me thinking. If I had a dollar for each time I heard this story from a veteran, I could use the money to pay for all me medicine from the dispensary.
It is truly sickening to think that this picture is the standard VA response to Veterans who need real help. PTSD, like all other authorized medical conditions for cannabis, is not a joke! Here we have individuals, male and female, that fight for our freedoms and security. They see and experience terrible situations. Service members are trained to react, to be aggressive, and to rely on force in order to survive. For those of us that survive combat situations and return home to live out our lives as a civilians, it can be extremely hard to acclimate. It has been 13 years since I separated from the Marine Corps and I still live with issues stemming from my time in Iraq. I know I’m not the only one.
Here is what this brave Army Veteran wants to share.
9,828 Smarties. That’s a lot, isn’t it?
My name’s Joshua Lee, retired Army sergeant, and that’s 9 . 5 pounds of Smarties; it took two separate bulk candy stores to fill the order, and I still had to unwrap 4 . 3 pounds of Smarties with my wife, Julia.
Here’s the thing: I’m prescribed 9,828 pills annually by the VA. I’m 100% disabled, unable to work or function in most social settings due to an unholy trifecta of PTSD, Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis (along with some other multiple minor percentages). On a daily basis, I’m munching opiates, narcotics, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotics… Oh, and let’s not forget, I need pills to control the side effects of the first pills.
I’m tired, boss. I’m so…damn…tired.
I’m tired of all the side effects. I’m tired of not feeling in control of my own body, my own healthcare, or my own choices. I’m tired of making the deliberate choice every day, as so many Americans of all walks of life do, to deliberately shorten my lifespan with these handfuls of pills, just to improve the quality of life for my wife and children. I’m tired of the government allowing pharmaceutical companies to donate to anti-medical marijuana initiatives, then introducing a synthetic form of THC and getting it through the FDA as a Schedule II drug (marijuana is a Schedule I substance, with “high chance for addiction and no potential medical use”).
Yes, there are other states where medical marijuana is legal. I refuse to uproot my wife’s career as a Licensed Professional Counselor, or my two children’s school careers, when instead I can stand my ground and fight for all patient’s rights, here in my home state of Missouri.
I am honored to be chosen for this documentary through Project-22.org, and I hope to encourage both our voters and our legislature to listen to science, reason, and the voice of all patients suffering quality of life medical issues. I don’t blame the VA; I don’t blame my doctors, for prescribing what they know are long term poisons; these are the only choices our government allows them. I blame the divisive, stagnant, and willfully ignorant policies that condemn a plant available as a truly self-tailored medication. Through this documentary, we will show the science and reason behind why medical marijuana is truly a life-saving choice for patients of all types, whether civilian or veteran. Will you please help me spread my message, encourage others to do the same, and spread the fight for patients’ rights?
Thanks! Josh Lee
Thank you Josh, for stepping up and demanding to take control of your health. We should help educate society and representatives of the realities that veterans face in the VA system. This image spoke to me and caused me think, in a given year, how many pills was I prescribed from my doctors? How about you?