Of all the challenges facing America’s veterans when they return to civilian life, PTSD ranks among the deadliest. While PTSD—short of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—is estimated to affect some 7% of the general population at any given time, for veterans of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan—operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF)—the number is between 11 – 20% of all vets. For this population, untreated PTSD all too often ends in suicide, on average some 22 a day.
This is a shocking number, and it far outstrips deaths in actual combat. Fortunately, help is coming from what might seem an unlikely source: Cannabis. Studies have shown that cannabis can help address the symptoms of PTSD, dramatically improving veterans’ quality of life and in many cases helping them step back from the brink of suicide. That’s where today’s spotlight guest comes in: Welcome to Twenty22Many.
Twenty22Many: Helping Veterans Get Access to Life-Saving Cannabis
Not long ago, many us of would have laughed at the idea that cannabis might actually be a life-saving drug. Today, the situation couldn’t be more different, as numerous studies suggest that cannabis offers real relief to those suffering from this debilitating condition.
That’s what’s behind Twenty22Many, an organization self-described as Washington State’s first grassroots, all-volunteer, veteran suicide prevention, PTSD, and medical cannabis awareness nonprofit organization.
Beginning in 2014, Twenty22Many began organizing on the local and state level to guarantee access to cannabis for all those suffering from PTSD. That includes political activism—including hand-delivering a bill to Washington State Senator Steve Hobbs, a member of the Washington Army National Guard himself.
But Twenty22Many’s activism also means putting its money where its mouth is. In addition to lobbying state and local politicians, the organization runs and maintains a sort of “clubhouse” in downtown Olympia dedicated to providing vets a safe, welcoming and inviting location to spend a little time. The facility hosts Arts and Crafts hours, meetings to foster fellowship and organizing strategies, and more.
Twenty22Many: What They’ve Achieved So Far
Since officially registering as a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2016, Twenty22Many has logged numerous achievements. They include:
- Hand-delivering the PTSD Bill to State Senator Steve Hobbs that is now law in Washington State. The veterans of Twenty22Many are proud of their work lobbying to have PTSD be added to the Washington State list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use.
- The veterans of Twenty22Many have been awarded “Volunteers of the Year Award” twice for our continuing efforts in keeping the parks and sidewalks of Olympia clean.
- Continuously and unselfishly always providing a safe haven and shelter for homeless veterans, their spouses and pets.
- Twenty22Many created the Veteran Support Depot Program. Through this initiative, they were able to successfully launch the state’s first free medical cannabis program.
Twenty22Many and Have a Heart: A Partnership for Good
Have a Heart is excited to host Twenty22Many for several special in-store events in Washington State this summer! Check our Specials and Events Page and search for “Twenty22Many.” You’ll see events at our Greenwood, Lake Forest Park and Skyway locations. Come down and say “Hey!” We’d love to have you be a part of this important conversation.