Q: What is Veterans Cannabis Project?
The mission of Veterans Cannabis Project is improving US military veterans’ quality of life through the opportunity of cannabis. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating lawmakers and veterans about the meaningful health benefits of cannabis.
Q: Who is behind Veterans Cannabis Project?
Veterans Cannabis Project’s founder and Executive Director is Nick Etten. Nick attended both the U.S. Naval Academy and Northwestern University, and is a former Navy SEAL. Nick is passionate about solving critical problems.
Q: When did Veterans Cannabis Project launch?
Veterans Cannabis Project officially launched in September 2017.
Q: Why is there a need for Veterans Cannabis Project?
In states where medical cannabis is now legal, veterans are stuck in a “catch-22” situation if they elect to obtain a medical cannabis recommendation: the Department of Veterans Affairs is a federal healthcare system, which does not recognize these state laws, leaving veterans unable to openly discuss the issue with their primary care providers and at risk of losing hard-earned benefits. Regardless of the legal status of cannabis in a state, Veterans Health Administration physicians are prohibited from trying or even recommending cannabis as a treatment option for their Veteran patients.
Q: What are the challenges facing the use of legal cannabis?
We believe the legal cannabis industry is well-positioned to help our veterans on both the health and employment fronts. Medical cannabis is now proven a safe and effective component of personal health management, without the devastating side effects of opiate-based drugs. And the legal cannabis industry is growing fast, with more than half (29 at this writing) of the states now supporting medical cannabis.
Q: What is the advantage of legal cannabis?
In the six months since we launched Operation Legal Access (October 2017), VCP has been hard at work advocating for veteran access. A highly skilled team of ten veterans with specialized expertise across cannabis and health policy have conducted more than 50 meetings with 75+ essential VSOs, VA senior leadership and senior Administration officials, including over 40 congressional meetings with Appropriations, Veterans Affairs and Judiciary Committees members and leadership. VCP's work and opinions have been profiled in such publications as The Washington Post, The New York Times, Military Times, Defense One, and NBC News. VCP in the News
Q: What steps has Veterans Cannabis Project taken?
Through Operation Legal Access, our team of veterans, strategists and special operations advocates conduct Direct Action Missions in Washington D.C. These candid conversations started in early 2018, and allow Veterans to share their stories with lawmakers, policy influencers and game changers.
Q: Does Veterans Cannabis Project offer any specific programs?
Through Operation Legal Access, our team of Veterans, Strategists and Special Operations Advocates conduct Direct Action Missions in Washington D.C. These candid, round-table conversations start in early 2018, and allow Veterans to share their stories with lawmakers, policy influencers and game changers. They help us change the conversation about the transformative, life-saving health treatment value of cannabis.
Q: Why are veterans well-suited for careers in the legal cannabis industry?
Their experiences and training in the military makes veterans well-suited for this type of industry, which is highly structured, regulated and calls for a disciplined work force. Specific traits that veterans possess that make them highly-suited for roles within the cannabis industry include:
- Ability to work well under pressure
Q: How can I learn more?
If you are interested in learning about Veterans Cannabis Project, our initiatives, events and activities, please bookmark our website and check back regularly. You should also sign up to receive our regular newsletter, which highlights new opportunities, current research and ways to get involved. And definitely connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Q: How can I get involved?
There are a variety of ways you can help us - everything from volunteering, partnering with us, helping us raise funds. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear about our upcoming events.
Q: How can I help?
As a nonprofit, Veterans Cannabis Project is funded entirely by generous donations and grants. Your donations help us connect with more veterans, identify new job opportunities for veterans within the industry and champion the cause in statehouses across the country.