By Angela Underwood
On the eve of 2020, The New York Daily Weed Report interviewed Green Beret Adam Smith and his continuous fight for veteran-focused cannabis provisions under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which falls under the U.S. Department of Defense’s budget.
In the second half of the two-part interview, Smith discusses the provisions that, if passed, would have enabled veterans to get home loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs regardless of their employment in states with a legal cannabis market, and provide reenlistment waivers for service members who committed a single low-level marijuana offense.
Without the provisions, veterans are absent a multitude of services made possible through cultivating pot, according to Smith.
“The biggest take away from all of this is that the cannabis industry, regardless of whether it is hemp, or ‘marijuana,’ is in general a wonderful opportunity for veterans to step into the space and re-purpose themselves and redefine their own personal mission in order to help give back to the veteran community at large,” he said.
One of those opportunities is starting a self-made business, according to Smith, who said that is an ideal situation for a soldier, whose definition of self and mission have always been an order rather than a choice.
“When I got into the civilian market, I didn’t really understand the concept or have the ability to choose how to define my mission and purpose until I started to get into law enforcement and first responder training,” Smith said, adding, “The best part of creating impact is that I get to choose how to create impact.”
And he does.
As the owner of GrayStone CrossFit gym in New Albany, Indiana and as an adviser for Allied Health Corp., a cannabis-based research group focused on PTSD and traumatic brain injury treatments, Smith teaches the importance of physical activity and healing with hemp.
And he wants the same for his peers, which is why he supports the Veterans Cannabis Project.
“It is pushing forward on trying to legalize cannabis across the country on a federal level,” he said. “Then you have companies like Allied, that support non-profit organizations that ultimately help in holistic treatment methods for veterans and first responders who need Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and brain injury treatment.”
While Smith continues to battle for veteran-focused provisions under the NDAA, he is determined to make the greatest difference he can.
“Until I am dead, I will not know if the actions I took in my life were worthy to inspire others to create impact in the world, but it doesn’t matter,” Smith said. “I get to define my job, my mission and my purpose.”