- About one third of the army used marijuana during the Vietnam War
- Therapeutic cannabis was one way in which soldiers dealt with the horrors of war
- Cannabis was smoked mainly outside the main front, in safe camps
On April 30 this year, the 43th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War took place. During this war more than 3 million Vietnamese and over 58,000 Americans were killed. Together in the war more than 3 million women and men of US citizenship. Roughly one third of all these people smoked marijuana during the war, according to recent surveys.
Yippee liquor plants lcannabisthey grow in Vietnam as weedsthe US military has never been in short supply of dried marijuana supplies. "We always had a good quality material out there, absolutely premium. No stems or seeds, and so on," recalls John Adams, a computer engineer currently living in California. Adams served two rounds in Vietnam, specifically under the FSR logistics department at Da Nang.
"It was enough to get in the jeep and in."to live it in Four Corners, "Adams describes the procedures," and for $ 10, buy 20 pre-packed joints. They were really nice, a pity I didnt take a picture at the time. It was a total strong stuff , two dusts, and you had to go sit down for a while. "
A lot of soldiers smoked, but not all
While some of the soldiers were indulging in marijuana during the war, it was much more common for the military personnel to ignite the marijuana when the troops pulled out of the front lines and settled in the camp.
One of the 70-year-old veterans, Alan, mentions to Leafly: "Nobody was smoking at my place or noticed at me. I'm sure that in the demilitarized zones, marijuana smoking was much more common than at the front. to be vigilant and always ready for an enemy that could have just appeared at any time. " Alan served in Vietnam in the LLRP reconnaissance department between 1967 and 1969.
Marijuana in Vietnam as an open secret
From the story of the Vietnam War veterans, it seems that the use of medicinal cannabis was such an open secret during the war.
"The army has never been much interested in cannabis smoking, but it didn't matter to the superiors.to the public, "says Jeremy Kuzmarov, representing history professor at Tulsa University and author of the book The Myth of Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs.
At that time, the news and media responses began to be filled with pictures and reports of marijuana smoking soldiers on the battlefield. Of course, with the response of the media, the military leadership became interested in the issue, and the effort to sweep the marijuana between the soldiers under the table and then ban it completely. Kuzmarov also describes in his book rumors at that time about how "marijuana can be for reducing the combat effectiveness of troops, destruction of morals and increased use of all drugs." Furthermore, cannabis was also heard as a reason for the collapse of discipline and even as a factor in committing war crimes.
Cannabis treatmentm before smoking was considered a treatment
The veteran Alan may not have seen the use of his unit, but for other troops and many other soldiers, medical cannabis was one way of coping with the horrors they experienced during the war.
"When on a daily basisyou watch men, women, and children tear to pieces and kill them like cattle, and then come back to the camp silence, of course you go looking for something to help you deal with such horrors, "describethe course of war and the use of cannabis further Adams. "So, as you know, when I wasn't fighting, we either smoked grass or drank."
"I will tell you this way, when we were downright in the back and cleaned the guns, so we smoked as much as we could," he adds. "It was the only way to cope with all the madness."
Relax with marijuana during the war in the background
Sacramento native, Bill Crain, now 62 years old, served during the Vietnam War at the fleet, specifically at the USS Molala, in the waters of Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam. Here he also tried for the first time what it is like to smoke marijuana.
"When I started to serve on the ship, I was a little nervous, you know what. I was 17 and terrible things were happening all around. "The shipmates always went to one room and smoked there. I started dating too, and I learned to use them to find moments of relaxation with cannabis." Bill adds that about a third of his entire section of marijuana smoked.
Soldiers and drug tests? A bit…
Dale Shafer, now 64, is a California citizen, a lawyer specializing in law and cannabis, and a former military corpsman. Vietnahe served from 1974 to 1976. He spent most of his time at the Oakland Hospital, along with wounded men and women from the queue during the war.
"Drug tests? Most of the parties Ive been hosting most often were the ones responsible for the tests."
Asked if she used hemp among the soldiers during the war, she responds with a laugh: "It was really interesting," says Shafer. "When I first went to a training camp, I didnt think anyone was smoking marijuana during the war. However, as soon as I finished my training, they sent me to school to learn to be a medical student. Everything changed there, maybe everyone was smoking. the drug tests went on there, fortunately, I was avoided, most of the time just when there was a problem. "
Coping with the warafter returning home
It is to be understood that the surviving Vietnam veterans have returned home to a country that did not want to hear about the war.
"When Jwe returned home, looked at us as outcasts, "describes Alans unfortunate welcome." That has changed today, for which I am very happy. Soldiers dont have it easy after returning from war, you have to understand. Today, at least society accepts them. "
For Bill Crain nthere was no return home. He tried to smuggle some marijuana on the way back. It cost him some freedom and ended up in a war rehabilitation center. "When I returned home, he expelledand my own family. They told me I had a bad influence on my brothers and sisters. I ended up on the street. Fortunately, I managed to cut it off. "
Posttraumatic Depressive Disorder (PTSD)
Crain, as well as many other veterans, continued to use medicinal cannabiseven after the war.As for others, it was one of the possible ways to cope with the horrors he had experienced during the war.
AmeRican Research Association JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) conducted in 2015 studii, which revealed that the entire 270,000 Vietnam War veterans still suffer from PTSD. In addition, one-third of them exhibit severe depression symptoms. Decades have passed, but these men and women have such a hard time remembering the horrors of the war during the war that they all seem as if they were yesterday.
With increasing awarenesshowever, the number of veterans returning from Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and suffering from PTSD, is also rising in numbers of those who use cannabis as an effective treatment for this psychological disorder. In addition to PTSD, the use of therapeutic marijuana is common among the valso for the treatment of chronic pain and other consequences of war.
He willAmerican Legion, herthe larger national organization for supporting war veterans, is currently lobbying to promote investment in research as well as supplying stocks and quality information on cannabis.
"Our National Executive Commission, which is largely composed of Vietnam War veterans, approved a resolution in 2016 asking the federal government to remove the cannabis from Schedule 1, and to encourage subsequent, in-depth research on potential cannabis. positive effects of cannabis for PTSD, "explains Joe Plenzler, media manager for the American Legion.
In addition to the American Legion, other organizations pushing medicinal cannabis as legitimate aid to war veterans have recently been born in the US. These include, for example, Weed for Warriors Project and Hero Grown. In particular, these organizations are trying to replace heavily prescribed opiates and other pharmaceuticals, which, apart from the frequent negative effects, also create massive dependence.
"Dependence on drugs prescribed routinely in the office causes statistically 20 cases of suicide war veterans a day. In short, the current administration has to understand that over-opiating us kills citizens on a daily basis," veteran John McCain of Arizona.
Cannabis for Warriors
John Adams is currently Head of Weed for Warriors. The organization outside of lobbying for national access to cannabis for veterans also provides assistance to the homeless (among whom are often Vietnamese veterans), cleaning up beaches. Weed for Warriors also works with many homeless dining banks.
The aforementioned sentenceBlow Bill Crain thanks this organization for teaching him the right way to use cannabis, with which he now and successfully handles his PTSD.
"Before that, no"When I started attending Weed for Warriors, my PTSD symptoms worsened so much that I left home," Crain describes. I had no friends. But today I came back from the city, right from the center. I was helping to give food to the homeless. I really like to see my friends from the organization. We all have similar problems, we understand each other. "
Energy is coming backwith cannabis
Dale Shafer, who has served five years in federal jail for growing cannabis in a home garden, is now working for Weed for Warriors as a legal advisor. Shafer firmly believes that what the organization is doing is the right step. "We have ingrained political activism at that time. Our activist spirit is in todays pros."thirst reborn. "
"All the energy that has built up in us during the years to end the war is back," says Shafer, a former "hippie activist". "All these years, we've been tracking the whole issue as it swings back and forth. One step forward, two steps back. Nothing really has changed. But now the atmosphere is getting completely different. better. "
Source: "When Does Your Medical Marijuana Card Expire? A State-by-State Guide." Leafly