The VA recently launched a new grant program on suicide prevention services for Army veterans that specifically states that it will not support any treatment that involves the use of cannabis. We know that cannabis has been shown to benefit veterans struggling with pain and insomnia, as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety, and PTSD, but unfortunately only 50% of veterans returning from service seek help.
One thing I am always looking for are ways to support veterans with cannabis medicine. When I co-founded and operated Harborside, we were one of the first dispensaries to offer a discount for veterans (15%) and organized free support groups to educate and help veterans with their physical ailments and PTSD. We also tried to show that our community cared for veterans with free alternative health services such as yoga and reiki, and our free care program for low-income veterinarians. I recently met Tim Tofaute, Director of Security and Operations with Security Solutions (OSS).
Tofaute is a veteran of the U.S. Navy SEAL and is no stranger to the long-term detrimental effects of PTSD and chronic pain. He has been working on these issues for some time and owns a company that provides banking and cash management services to the cannabis industry. He is excited to shed light on medical cannabis reform for U.S. veterans who use VA resources. OSS supports dozens of financial institutions and more than 100 cannabis-related companies; the team is made up of former law enforcement, military and federal professionals to directly support the banking and security needs of the legal cannabis industry.
That’s what I had to say.
What do war and / or soldier service do and why can cannabis help?
Tim Tofaute: This is a very involved question. Wartime service and peacetime service are two different things. I’m not saying one is more valuable than the other, just that they are different. However, any service can make a soldier feel like he is part of something bigger than himself and a significant cause. This can really help someone with their sense of confidence and sense of belonging. It helps the service member feel that their efforts are important and make a difference regardless of military specialization (MOS) or job position.
War takes things to completely different magnitudes. This can be a profoundly different distinction because it is also profoundly personal. War experiences are often very difficult to talk about, as most people simply would not understand. In addition, it can take a long time to process these experiences and many veterinarians do not want to relive them, so it is easier not to talk about them. Not to mention, carnage often causes you to develop a rather macabre sense of humor that most civilians can’t relate to. Coercive humor often helps keep everyone together. War changes you and changes your perspective on things, as well as how you manage stress.
It can usually be said of someone who has had to go through extremely traumatic circumstances. I have several colleagues I work with who use cannabis as a treatment for PTSD and pain, and I have had some success with that. This is not a doctor-prescribed treatment, but they used it as an alternative treatment and saw benefits from cannabis use. There are some war veterinarians who swear by this and others will not touch it.
Cannabis, if administered in the right amounts, can help reduce anxiety and calm the mind, and help veterinarians process their feelings more easily. To speak accurately of efficacy, we need more research to do; and without the support of the federal government, this will be difficult, we need more research and clinical trials.
Do you think cannabis should be available to active duty soldiers and veterinarians?
TT: I think it could be an option, but only after we have done studies and case studies on the side of veterans, where we can really check if the treatment works or not or if there are side effects, before looking at it as an option. . for an active-duty soldier to perform his duties possibly impaired.
What has been your personal experience as a veteran and military man, and how has cannabis helped you?
TT: Personally, I have not used cannabis with great success for pain, but I work with and have several ex-veteran colleagues who are friends who have used cannabis with great success and swear it.
What is your vision for medical cannabis reform in the VA?
TT: Assuming that there have been enough studies that show that cannabis would be a plausible alternative treatment, then it is really up to the caregiver and the patient to determine their treatment route. Over time, and as more research is done, I believe that the AV should also support this model.
Tell me about your OSS company and what role it plays in the cannabis industry?
TT: OSS is a cash logistics management company that provides secure cash services in transit, security and risk management and on-site security services to cannabis companies that are required to operate only with cash, as the government federal continues to keep marijuana on an Appendix 1 controlled list. substances. We are acting on behalf of financial institutions that have legal banking programs.
Anything else you’d like me to know?
TT: As an armed messaging service that supports the cannabis industry with financial solutions, we are very excited to expand our East Coast service footprint to areas such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, where we have programs open right now. . The New Jersey recreational program is advancing very fast and the state could announce new details of its program very soon.