With education and advocacy at the core of its mission, Veterans Health Services looks to gain greater support for medical marijuana use in the treatment of veterans with chronic illnesses.
A non-profit organization founded by Executive Director Life D. Griffith, Veterans Health Services seeks to “educate, defend, protect and establish equal access to medical cannabis and Hemp oil for the veteran and underserved community,” according to the group’s website. By advocating for the legal access to cannabis, VHS hopes to educate others on its many medical benefits.
“VHS strategy is simple. We strive to be the ‘first to care’ by educating the veteran and underserved community hands-on about the benefits of medicinal cannabis via CBD oil especially for those who are suffering from chronic physical and mental ailments,” said Griffith.
As a disabled veteran himself, Griffith served nearly 20 years in the Army and Army Reserves as a combat medic. He went on to work as a Legal Administration Specialist and Minority Veteran Program Coordinator with the Department of Veteran Affairs in Los Angeles. By working with veterans everyday Griffith said motivated him to help them. Griffith left the department in 2015 to establish VHS.
“I begin to witness the chronic pain and mental suffering that the veterans were experiencing while being treated at the VA. PTSD outbreaks, suicide and homelessness and the opioid crisis, which are the key issues plaguing veterans nationally and that made me decide to create Veterans Health Solutions,” said Griffith.
VHS has partnered with several other cannabis groups including the Veterans Cannabis Alliance, the California Minority Alliance, and the Cannabis Career Institute among others.
According to a study from the Pew Research Center, about 61 percent of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Growing support arrives as more states legalize it for recreational purposes.
29 states, including the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.