MaryLynn Mathre chaired a panel on “Medical Access for Veterans” at the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa on Sunday. MLM was a lieutenant in the Navy Nurse Corps during the Vietnam War era. She married a former Navy officer named Al Byrne and together in 1995 they organized a group called Patients Out of Time, advocating legalization of cannabis for medical use. (In our hour of need may we all have a nurse with MLM’s skill, empathy, loveliness, and strength.)
In her opening riff, Mathre said: “It just seems so ironic that we can send young people off to fight for our freedom — this is a free country, the United States of America — and destroy their lives by combat et cetera. They come home and just want to use a plant. To not be able to do that — I just can’t think of anything more anti-American.”
Patients out of Time has drafted a simple petition to the President: “Deschedule cannabis. Free the plant.” MLM said it would take “at least 100,000 signatures to be paid attention to by the White House. We need to get millions… We need to demand access to this plant. There are still so many roadblocks.”
Here is the link for the petition https://wh.gov/itxoD
In some states regulations keep gun owners from legally using cannabis as medicine. Mathre said that most vets, including her husband, owned weapons and “unlike a lot of Americans, know how to use them safely.” Because people accused of illegal marijuana cultivation or possession for sale face extra charges when there’s a gun on the property. “It’s a double whammy on vets,” MLM said.
I kept my mouth shut as 12 vets took the mike to describe how cannabis had helped them regain some equilibrium and how they might best assure safe, legal access. A senior citizen wearing a Veterans of Foreign War cap asked everyone to “Give Trump a chance.” He said he had met Trump three times and also that he had met Missouri Senator Roy Blount nine times. He shared with them his son’s tragic story and felt he had gotten through and “educated them.” An Air Force vet named Amy Rising warned that Blount was shining him on and stalling. She said vets need help immediately. There are 22 suicides a day, plus nine family members unable to cope with their loved one’s altered personality decide too end it all.
I wanted to ask if and why people assume that the government that lies about marijuana tells the truth about everything else? Did the Vietnam vets think the government was telling the truth about what led to US involvement in someone else’s civil war? (The US sabotaged the “Geneva Accords,” the 1954 agreement between North and South Vietnam to hold free elections and reunify the country, because Ho Chi Minh would have won.)
The Iraq vets know — everybody does now — that the US government lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons or mass destruction and being on the verge of developing “nuclear capability.”
In Afghanistan the US (and the Saudi rOil family) funded the mujihadeen to overthrow a secular government. The mujihadeen then spawned the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
It wasn’t till I transcribed a tape of the session that I caught the wrongness in MaryLynn Mathre’s well-meaning words “We” don’t send young people off to war — the Power Elite does. And it’s not “freedom” the troops are fighting for, it’s oil and minerals and markets.