Founded by military veteran Roger Martin in 2014, HeroGrown (formerly Grow for Vets U.S.A.) is a national non-profit organization developed to help find alternative treatments for veterans and disabled heroes suffering from a variety of disabilities. By providing quality cannabis, as well as access to knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own cannabis, the program has restored quality of life to thousands of veterans.
But they haven’t done it alone. Working with organizations such as Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance, Weed for Warriors Project, Veteran Cannabis Project, American Hero Cannabis and many more, the program has put more than $750,000 worth of cannabis into the hands of over 30,000 eligible veterans. The truly amazing thing about the program is that they’ve done it all for free! How, you ask? Through the giving nature and kind hearts of people in the cannabis community, coupled with unflinching determination, passion and love for fellow veterans.
The program also relies on donations from a host of individuals and organizations who offer up their time, supplies, products and money to fund a program with a mission to give back to the men and women who have given so much of themselves. The result of these donations can be seen in the development of cultivation operations, expanded event presence, new chapter introductions and the ever-growing number of assisted vets and heroes.
The Veteran/Pro-Athlete Connection
After making such a strong impact on the lives of so many people in the cannabis community, and with so many similarities between the disabilities of veterans and pro athletes, including PTSD, CTE, nerve damage and other afflictions, HeroGrown reached out to eleven-year NFL veteran Marvin Washington. “The public’s perception that all former NFL players are wealthy is way off base,” Washington notes. “The reality is that for every guy who made millions of dollars a year, there are thousands who suffered career-ending injuries early in their careers. These guys often suffer from chronic pain, which is something they share in common with Veterans.”
In addition to pain, many vets and athletes share another common bond: the expense of pharmaceuticals. The price of prescription medication for many is beyond comprehension, and they are seldom taking just one drug. In many cases, our heroes are taking upwards of 12 or more different medications a day to live a somewhat normal standard of life. As patients and doctors can attest, many of these medications only serve to cause more problems, and even death—if you can afford the meds in the first place. To date, cannabis has caused no deaths from overdose. Washington is helping HeroGrown to put as much free cannabis in the hands of vets and athletes as they possibly can on their journey to help a million heroes.
Call to Action
The numbers don’t lie, and the equation isn’t balancing out. Since 2001, more veterans are lost to suicide than are lost in combat. A highly controversial 2013 study from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which claims that 22 veterans die from suicide every day, only used 21 of our 50 states for data collection, and does not consider prescription medication overdose as a suicide. These red flags more than hint at a much higher rate of veteran deaths due to suicide, which currently stands at 20 percent of the yearly U.S. suicide rate, while veterans make up about seven percent of the U.S. population.
But with programs like HeroGrown and people like YOU, we can make it our mission to turn those numbers around with safe solutions to harmful pharmaceuticals. We can fight people like U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on behalf of those who can’t, and demand the right to allow veterans, athletes and anyone in need the freedom to use medical marijuana as a recognized medical alternative.
Website: herogrown.org | Twitter: @GrowForVets