The Weed for Warriors Project, a Veterans Advocacy Group located in California, today announced the debut of a billboard and social media campaign challenging California politicians who are denying medical patients legal access to cannabis.
Since the late 1990s, a devastating opioid crisis has plagued the United States. According to UC Davis, research shows that where medicinal cannabis is legally accessible, there are lower drug overdoses and suicide rates. Despite this knowledge, opioid abuse and overdoses continue unabated, consuming over 100,000 souls last year alone, not including those who intentionally killed themselves.
"Over and over we've stated that what's critically needed is more retail access and reduced tax and regulatory burdens. Despite our best efforts, politicians like State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-14) continue taking positions that undermine the development of a functional legal cannabis industry. She represents an obstruction to rational legislation which could alleviate some of the pressure felt in our community and her actions have contributed to the destabilization of California's already floundering cannabis industry," said Weed For Warriors Executive Director, Sean Kiernan. "Casting votes which directly harm veterans, their families, neighbors, and the considerable agricultural interests she represents, is indefensible."
California recently made changes to its cannabis tax structure; a move that many leaders in the industry believe is too little, too late. "Local control has grievously limited retail access, taxes are punitive, and the costs of meeting notorious overregulation push Californians into a thriving illicit market," said Elliot Lewis, Founder, and CEO of Catalyst Cannabis Co.
"The history of cannabis industry advocacy has been to treat politicians with kid gloves. Looks to me like veterans have taken those gloves off. This could be the bell that wakes the industry up from being a political victim," said Jason Beck, the longest continuous retail operator of cannabis in the United States.