Grow For Vets Video ThumbnailFounder and Executive Director Roger Martin of Grow for Vets has been giving free cannabis to military veterans for PTSD and other serious medical conditions for more than a year.

And it all started because he got a new puppy.

Martin says he ran into a number of other veterans at a local dog-training training facility who talked about their PTSD, chronic pain and other medical issues.

“They told me some of them were taking 15, 20 or more prescriptions every single day,” Martin says. “They also told me that cannabis was the only thing that ever helped them with their PTSD and that is was expensive to buy.”

After hearing these stories for several weeks, Martin says he woke of up one night in the middle of the night and “it just occurred to me that I should give free cannabis to veterans. I was fortunate at that time in my life not to need an income. So, I was able to devote my time to doing that.”

“I’ve had thousands of veterans tell me that cannabis is the only thing that’s ever helped them with their PTSD,” Martin says.

A Vietnam-era veteran, Martin has personal experience using both VA-prescribed drugs and cannabis for chronic pain issues of his own.

“The drug of choice I was given when I first came out, actually about a year after I first came out, was OxyContin,” he says. “By October 2010, I was taking 180 milligrams of that a day. And I was taking 20 to 30 milligrams of Ambien to get one to two hours of sleep a night.”

“Fortunately,” he says, “I met a really good doctor who suggested I try cannabis.”

Because of a law enforcement background where he had been told cannabis was dangerous and could lead to more serious drugs, Martin says he didn’t like the idea at first of using cannabis. But his occasional use of cannabis is the only thing that works to control his chronic pain, he says.

“The American heroes I’m honored to serve every single day deserve better than having their first treatment option and usually their only treatment option that’s free being deadly prescription drugs,” he says. “Cannabis is a safe alternative because it can’t kill you.”

“One of those things that makes no sense to me whatsoever is why it (cannabis) would not be a doctor’s first choice in treating a veteran,” he says. “They can give them the cannabis, prescribe them cannabis. If that doesn’t work, they can always resort to the drugs that may kill them.”