Missouri Veterans Need Your Help! - New Approach Missouri


Missouri Veterans Need Your Help!

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My name is Chris Wolfenbarger. I joined the National Guard in 2006 at the age of 36 with wars raging in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I wanted to help our citizens stateside in case a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina struck Kansas City. When trained as a Medic, I felt like I could make a difference.
In the course of my duties, I was asked to teach a combat lifesaver course to the 1141st Engineer Company before they deployed to war. Based upon that experience, I was asked to transfer to the unit and join their deployment to eastern Afghanistan.

While on a routine mission on February 12, 2010, the company convoy approached a civilian vehicle.The Route Clearance Buffalo that I was riding in pulled up next to the vehicle to tell them to move out of the danger zone. I was looking into the eyes of a young man when he detonated the Suicide Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device (SVBIED). It was on that day that I ​and all the other warriors in the vehicle were wounded.
I was treated in country and finished my deployment. On October 23, 2013, I was medically retired from service for wounds received. I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury, and a lingering shoulder injury.
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After my deployment, I returned to appraising full time, but now my wife Leah assists me. She left a ​successful career to help me better complete tasks that I once handled on my own​.​
But I am one of the lucky ones. Thousands of Missouri vets live with crippling injuries, both physical and mental, and they need your help.
In April, I attended the first Institute for Cannabis Research conference, and the research presented to us regarding cannabinoids is stunning. Some of the world's most gifted scientists are conducting groundbreaking studies abroad and have been doing so for more than 30 years. Raphael Mechoulam, who discovered the endocannaibinoid system, keynoted the conference, and the biggest lesson he imparted in his hour long presentation is that the science on cannabis is being ignored.
We have known for decades that CBD treats epilepsy. In Israel, they are doing groundbreaking work treating Type 1 Diabetes and schizophrenia, which is largely ignored by the rest of the western medical establishment.

Right now, Dr. Sue Sisley is running a study on cannabis and PTSD, and the sheer amount of hoops she had to jump through to receive government approval is maddening. Even after the study was approved, her college fired her because of how controversial the study might be. Thankfully, she was able to find private investors and continue her study, but scientists wishing to study cannabis as medicine should not be running into these sorts of roadblocks.  
We can change that in Missouri. In states where medical cannabis is legal, is it far easier for researchers to study the subject, as they can they interview current cannabis users. Missouri could be a leading state on this type of research, but until we get at broad medical cannabis program, the scientists are handcuffed by extensive red tape.  

Now is the time for the state of Missouri to lift its prohibition on cannabis therapy. This is not a decision that can wait another five years to be hashed out. The veteran community loses 22 individuals per day to suicide. In five years, we will lose enough veterans to fill Kaufman Stadium where the Kansas City Royals play. If this medicine can help some of these veterans then we owe it to them to make it legally and safely available.
We must act, and we must act now -- lives are at stake. We have the power to make a measurable improvement in the lives of all Missouri patients, including tens of thousands of veterans, and this Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to start. This initiative is the only way to bring relief to many of those most in need, so I urge you to support it in any and every way you can:
On Memorial Day, we celebrate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. Won't you sacrifice some of your time and money to give those who have sacrificed far more the medicine they need?

Chris Wolfenbarger