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What Medical Cannabis Could Look Like For Our Veterans: Forum with the Senior VA Staff - 13 September 2017

WASHINGTON – In recent months, American’s nationwide have been faced with a startling awakening regarding Opioid related overdoses and deaths. State legislatures and Congress alike are desperately seeking measures today that will address this unfolding epidemic. Meanwhile, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is tasked with addressing near epidemic levels of not only Opioid related overdoses, but also Opioid related suicides by America’s elite fighting forces and valued community of veterans.

“Within the US one person every 20 minutes dies of either an accidental and or intentional overdose to prescription pain medication. Doing the math that’s 3 every hour, 72 a day and so forth. It has been reported that our Veterans are overdosing at twice the rate of civilians….in other words 2 of the 3 causalities within the above hour time frame are Veterans,” says Jeffery Staker, a Marine veteran, DOD Firefighter, and founder of Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis.

In a joint effort to address & cull this epidemic, several members of the Veteran Affairs Senior Staff and Acting Under Secretary of Health, Dr. Poonam Alaigh, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis have aligned to host an intimate educational forum with the nations’ leading physicians. The forum will be held from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room, RM# 2168.

“With veterans representing 7% percent of the American population, yet accounting for 20 percent of the national suicide rate, these numbers are unacceptable, and it is ‘all hands-on deck’ for all Americans to learn together and do more for those who selflessly serve our country,” said Brandon L. Wyatt, attorney and Army disabled combat veteran.

“We are excited to partner with the country’s top medical minds Donald Abrams, MD; Ziva D Cooper, PhD; Darryl Hudson, PhD; Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSH, CARN; and Jordan Tishler, MD; to raise awareness of the veterans’ suicide epidemic, explore arduous drug policies, and engage leaders in the government sector to professionally explore safer medical alternatives, in hopes to save lives every day,” said Staker, forum organizer.

“Veterans from all 50 states and US territories have fought tirelessly for freedom, in an academic setting, we are honored to address our injuries to continue to be of service to All Americans with the sincere hope of ending the Opioid crisis”, Wyatt noted.

Joining the forum will be top Veteran advocate groups from across the country to include: Veterans Cannabis Group, Marijuana for Trauma, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, and Operation EVAC.
To RSVP Contact:

Hoosier Veterans For Medical Cannabis

Submitted by:
Jeff Staker

About the author:
Jeff Staker is a Marine Veterans serving in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and Operation Eastern Exit, Mogadishu, Somalia. He spent 11 years as an Infantryman, Scout Sniper and Drill Instructor. After leaving active duty he served as a Basic and Advance NCO Instructor with the Indiana Army National Guard and finishing his military career in 2004 as an Air/Crash/Recue Firefighter with the Indiana Air National Guard. Since 1994 Jeff has served as a full time Federal employee, first as a DoD Security Police and in 1997 to the present as a DoD Firefighter at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana where he is due to retire at the end of 2017 with nearly 35 years of combined Federal service. With his lovely wife Jean at his side they have raised three wonderful girls and two boys (two of girls graduated valedictorians from their high school classes and both the boys achieved Eagle Scouts). Jeff and Jean are also the proud grandparents of five grandchildren. Jeff formed Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis to inform, educate and petition state and federal legislators to enact, support and maintain legislation for the “legal” Medical use of Cannabis within the State of Indiana and our Nation as evident by the manifestation of this Forum.

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