Green Beret Battles for NDAA Cannabis Provisions

The Epoch Times

By Angela Underwood

After being deployed several times to Afghanistan, Central America, and southeast Asia during his time in the military, Green Beret Adam Smith will tell you one thing—he is back and ready to make change on his terms.

Since being featured in a June edition of The Epoch Times, when the National Defense Authorization Act considered allowing for two veteran-focused cannabis provisions under the U.S. Department of Defense budget, Smith sat down to talk with The New York Daily Weed Report in a two-part interview regarding those opportunities being slashed earlier this month.  

Under Rep. Katherine Clark’s (D-MA) proposed law, protected veterans could attain home loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs regardless of their employment in states with a legal cannabis market.

Now there is no protection. Additionally, reenlistment waivers for service members who committed a single low-level marijuana offense would be granted. Now they are not.

Smith said it is expected that with the impeachment hearings and going into the 2020 election cycle, politics has become complicated and crazy.

“There is a lot of undercurrent happening underneath all of this impeachment distraction that a lot of people aren’t aware of, and some of those things are the removal of these provisions,” Smith said.

While acknowledging that these provisions were never enacted laws, Smith said they would have provided protections for veterans specifically in the cannabis industry, adding the safeguards are crucial.

He’s right.

The Boston Globe reported in June the story of an unnamed veteran who was denied a home loan by the VA because he worked in the legal cannabis market.

Adams said whether it is legalized cannabis from state-to-state or the hemp industry in general, too much federal pushback has thwarted opportunity to incentivize and empower veterans to participate in an industry he noted could really provide veterans a multitude of services.

The first service it offers is the medicinal utilization of natural holistic products, according to Adam, who used Epidyolex, the CBD-derived drug used to treat epilepsy, as an example.

“The FDA approved Epidyolex because of clinical trials and testing of CBD isolate at really high concentration, so the government acknowledges at the federal level that there are medicinal principles and properties to CBD. However, those tests have also created a bit of a problem for CBD producers who want to create health supplements.” he said.

The federal recognition of CBD alone should be enough to add more provisions to pending law, Smith said, adding “there should be more bills that facilitate the veteran opportunity to participate in this market space.”

That market space adds “purpose” to veterans, who when released from a military branch often find themselves without direction, according to Smith.

“For so long, our definition of self and mission of purpose has been derived and given to us,” he said. “I defined myself by the job I did.”

But that can change when veterans return home from overseas.

“We go into this big dark hole, and that is where I found myself in 2016,” the 17-year veteran said.

January of that year, Smith drank every ounce of alcohol in his home so he could pull the trigger of the gun inside his mouth. But the suicide note Smith wrote would not be found since he passed out.

“I was so drunk, I passed out. I didn’t pull the trigger,” he said.  

For the next seven months, Smith managed to find hope in his new wife and the 17 acres of land they purchased in Kentucky. Add the hand up he was given by a former Naval Special Warfare veteran, and close friend, and the positive effects he found in CBD, and everything began to change.

“I slept better, I felt better, my anxiety and depression was down and I felt really good,” he said.

As the healing effects of CBD continued to change Adam, his sense of purpose returned. But this time, it was his choice and not a drill or assignment he followed like the seventeen years before.  

“I get to choose how I create impact in the world,” he said.

One way he makes that happen is being an advisor for Allied Health Corp., a cannabis-based research and development company specializing in PTSD and traumatic brain injury treatments.

“I want law enforcement, fire fighters, veterans and first responders, and active duty members to have access to CBD because its powerful and impactful,” he said.

But until the federal administration allows for such provisions, no change can be made.

“I want the federal government to stop pussyfooting around and make a decision regarding CBD,” he said.

The second half of Smith’s interview will be published Jan.6, 2020.

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