For Remembrance Day 2020, the team here at Canadian Lumber is proud to announce our Roll for Our for Heroes campaign. Read the post below to learn how we are joining Veterans Affairs Canada, The Royal Canadian Legion, and the cannabis industry in the fight to support our veterans!
Every year around this time, we are reminded to take a few minutes, even just one, to remember the heroic sacrifices of generations prior. Groups like Veterans Affairs Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion do their best to keep the memory of our fallen soldiers alive. From the First World War all the way through to conflicts in the Middle East, brave soldiers have laid down their lives to protect the freedoms that we all enjoy.
In a year plagued by pandemics, lockdowns, and wild elections, it’s easy to forget about those who have lost their lives so we can enjoy our own so freely. Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and all other holidays commemorating the service of front line heroes around the world are going to look a little different in 2020. Social distancing measures are wreaking havoc on a veteran population that thrives on community events and donations to keep its memory alive.
The struggles of those soldiers and service members who are lucky enough to make it home are well documented. In addition to significant physical injuries, chronic pain, and debilitating mental illness, veterans are often put on a cocktail of pharmaceuticals to manage their compounding issues. With the added stress and high demand of navigating these issues with little support, many Veterans end up impoverished, homeless, or taking their own lives. Just as they return home from one conflict, these heroes are faced with new, unexpected battles on multiple fronts.
Veterans Affairs Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion, and all sorts of advocacy groups are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 restrictions are having on fundraising activities. Donations and community engagement are a huge part of what makes these organizations so impactful. With that in mind, it’s time for us to join the fight and provide our veterans with some much needed support.
At Canadian Lumber, we want to elevate Remembrance Day 2020 in any way possible. Given our specific skill set, we thought it best to provide our service through donations, community engagement, and highlighting important ties between the Cannabis Industry and Veterans.
Organizations Providing Veteran Support
Royal Canadian Legion
The Royal Canadian Legion, simple put, is the lifeblood of the veteran and active service member community. In addition to providing much needed financial and community support to those suffering the effects of combat, the Legion also serves as a constant reminder of the people who sacrificed themselves to better the lives of others. Initiatives like The Poppy Campaign, a key donation avenue of the Legion, allow the public to show a simple sign of acknowledgement and solidarity with our Veterans. The Canadian Lumber team is honoured to support the Legion this year with our Roll for Our Heroes Campaign!
Veterans Affairs Canada
A branch of the Canadian Government, Veterans Affairs Canada is the government’s way of honouring current or former military and RCMP members. Those requiring mental and physical support, financial services, education and employment, or housing can use the many benefits made available through government benefits. Surprisingly, (and happily noted by the team at Canadian Lumber) Veterans Affairs Canada has been involved in the Cannabis business for over a decade!
In 2007, the Canadian Government made its first ever reimbursement of a veteran’s cannabis expenses on compassionate grounds. And with that precedent, the Cannabis for Medical Purposes Reimbursement Policy was born! Under this policy, eligible veterans can have up to 3 grams of dried cannabis – or comparable amount of fresh cannabis or cannabis oil – fully reimbursed by Veterans Affairs Canada. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the reimbursement policy paid out over $85,000,000 to tens of thousands of eligible Veterans!
Over the last year Veteran Affairs Canada’s Cannabis for Medical Purposes Reimbursement Policy reimbursed 10,152,184 grams of medical cannabis by paying out $85,151,847 CAD to 13,270 eligible Veterans
Wounded Warriors Canada is a national provider of mental health services taking an evidence-based, clinical approach to combating mental illness. To help care for veterans and their family members, Wounded Warriors offers programs that address mental health issues from multiple different perspectives. In addition to traditional clinical services, Wounded Warriors also offers group trauma counselling, spouse and youth programs, animal assisted therapy, and even conducts their own mental health and PTSD research!
Veterans and Cannabis
While debate around the efficacy of Cannabis in treating many of the issues veterans face is ongoing, support is growing within advocacy and medical communities. Considering the alternative approach, a laundry list of pharmaceuticals, it’s not hard to see why this is the case. From community advocates to NGOs like Medical Marijuana Services, civilians and veterans alike are calling on experts and policy makers to drop the stigma surrounding cannabis use.
Cannabis and PTSD
Research around the use of cannabis as a therapeutic intervention for pervasive issues like PTSD continues to build. Recent results show that cannabis significantly reduces the anxiety and sleep-deprivation that coincide with post-traumatic stress in the short term. These results have been reproduced in multiple studies, but concerns about quality signal the need for more thorough research going forward. However, when we ask the Veterans themselves, the answer seems more clear. A recent focus group of veterans and their significant others found that their experience using medical cannabis is mostly positive.
Cannabis and Pain Management
When it comes to the issue of pain management, opioids are often the first line of defense. As we are becoming well aware, this is a dangerous road to go down. Especially for those who have chronic pain and will be on the drugs for an extended period of time. Given the number of veterans who return home with significant, permanent injuries, it’s no surprise that they are a high-risk group that falls victim to the negative effects of opioid use.
Medical Cannabis, in most cases, comes with a lower risk profile for those afflicted with chronic pain. Many studies, including a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, have found that cannabis compounds can provide substantial relief for neuropathic pain. While it is by no means a panacea, it seems that cannabis provides at-risk groups like veterans with a safer alternative to dangerously addictive and powerful opioids.
Overall, it seems that medical cannabis provides a glimmer of hope for the veteran community. There’s still plenty of research to be done, but with the help of integral organizations like Veterans Affairs Canada, the Legion, and Wounded Warriors, a paradigm shift surrounding cannabis may be coming sooner than expected. And that may make the difference for a population that has traditionally been under acknowledged, under appreciated, and over-prescribed.
Roll for Our Heroes
If you’re interested in making a difference for the Veteran community during one of their darkest hours, we have the answer for you! This year, Canadian Lumber has decided to answer the Royal Canadian Legion’s call. Our Rolling Paper 3 Packs are on sale for $3 until November 22nd, with $2 from every purchase donated to The Poppy Trust Fund. This Remembrance Day, roll up your favorite cannabis in some Canadian Lumber rolling papers and support our brave veterans!