National Military Appreciation Month- Veterans Cannabis Coalition

In honor of May being National Military Appreciation Month, we are highlighting some of our favorite veteran-focused cannabis organizations. These groups have had boots on the ground all around the United States and beyond, doing the dirty work to ensure that veterans have access to safe, clean medicine and pushing the VA to expand that access at every opportunity. In this installment, we talked with Eric Goepel, co-founder and CEO of Veterans Cannabis Coalition.

We have known Eric for years now. He has always been a staunch supporter of Veteran’s rights to cannabis use. Eric and the Veterans Cannabis Coalition are active at both the state and federal levels for Veteran’s rights.

Eric has written many articles in collaboration with us in the past. They are linked below.

Represent Cannabis – Beard Bros Pharms

Building a Fire: How Will We End Cannabis Prohibition? – Beard Bros Pharms

People Before Profit: A Quest to Keep Cannabis Compassionate – Beard Bros Pharms

A Call to Action from Veterans Rights Groups after Congress Fails to Advance Key Cannabis Legislation – Beard Bros Pharms

CARERS Act of 2019 — An In-Depth Look at this Long Overdue Legislation – Beard Bros Pharms

SAFE HARBOR ACT 2019: New Legislation Looks to Provide Much Needed Reform for Vets – Beard Bros Pharms

Sean Worsley and the Catch-22 of Cannabis for Veterans – Beard Bros Pharms

120,000 Reasons to End Prohibition this Veterans Day – Beard Bros Pharms

What is Veterans Cannabis Coalition?

Eric: VCC was founded by Eric Goepel and Bill Ferguson–two Iraq War veterans, cannabis patients, and lobbyists who saw the lives being saved by cannabis and understood the need for veterans to push for national legalization on Capitol Hill.

What is the mission statement and main initiatives you’re looking to accomplish?

Eric: End federal cannabis prohibition and drive the research and development of cannabis based treatments through the Department of Veterans Affairs. At the grassroots level we work through other veteran service organizations open to cannabis to develop education and donation programs. Nationally, we work with members of Congress and other drug reform nonprofits to advance broad legalization and social justice efforts.

How can new members get involved? Is there a way for non-military members to support the group?

Eric: We are independent, self-funded, and not a member-based organization. We will never be able to recreate the chapter-based organizations like the American Legion and VFW, nor do we have to–instead we encourage veterans to find existing groups in need of purpose and revitalization and work to make cannabis education a major part of their mission.

Any strategic partners/allies of your cause that you want to highlight?

Eric: A big thank you to the many partners and allies who have made the donation and education work possible: American Legion Post 397 & Compassionate Healing; Disabled American Veterans Ch.12 & Holistic Heroes; Compton Veterans & Cannabis Rations; Los Angeles & Orange County NORML; The Sidewalk Project; Sweetleaf Collective; Dear Cannabis.

What are the future plans for the group?

Eric: Continue to develop compassionate cannabis donation and education programs in California; conduct more focused outreach toward Republican members of the House and Senate; Push new legislation including Uniform Code of Military Justice cannabis offense expungements for veterans and a “cannabis for medical purposes” reimbursement program modeled after Veterans Affairs Canada.

Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!

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