FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) –A grassroots organization is advocating for access to cannabis for low-income veterans. On Sunday, Weed for Warriors partnered with Embarc, a Fresno dispensary, to provide medicinal marijuana.
“We’ve been giving out free cannabis to veteran patients for over seven years throughout the state and around the country,” said Mark Carrillo, COO at Weed for Warriors. “The veteran suicide epidemic is very large. Over 20 veterans commit suicide every day.”
Carrillo cites a UC Davis study from last year showing that counties with more dispensaries see fewer opioid deaths.
“Having access is saving lives and that’s what we’re about,” he said.
Aaron Horace was in the air force for eight years and says pot alleviates his PTSD and helps him relax.
“It definitely helps with my anxiety. It helps with sleeping, I usually do it at nighttime,” he said.
He was one of 75 patients who received a bag with edibles, cartridges, and other products.
“This is a great opportunity,” said Horace.
“The biggest ones that always touch us is always family members,” said Carrillo. “Wives or husbands of that veteran coming up, letting us know that their veteran is doing so much better.”
Weed for Warriors has been teaming up with dispensaries across the state after the passage of Senate Bill 34 in 2018. The legislation allows cannabis businesses to donate tax-free marijuana to low-income medical patients.