In the military, strategy refers to the overall campaign plan that clearly defines a set of goals and how to accomplish them, while tactics are the actual means utilized to gain an objective. Below, we outline issues we believe are vital to address not only in the veteran community, but as a society in general.
The science is clear: not only would a strong medical cannabis program allow for a reduction in the amount of pills our veterans and citizens are prescribed, it would lead to improved mental and physical health and a reduction in opiate overdoses as well as suicides. This is a stance we support with science, data, and research, and we encourage Missouri to learn about the potential this plant has to offer our state.
In 1997, the CDC-Kaiser ACE study enrolled 17,000 participants into one of the most definitive studies ever performed. The heartbreaking results show that adverse childhood experiences increase the likelihood of addiction and disease in staggering proportions, while our society spurns mental health care and challenges people for seeking help. Childhood trauma is the silent killer of our society, and veterans are at the forefront of demanding improved mental health care access for all. As a society, we encourage annual physical health checkups while ignoring or downplaying the state of our mental health, when in reality our mental health and well being influence every facet of our lives.
Prior to the Prohibition, Missouri was the number one hemp producer in the nation. This plant offers a variety of uses, from construction to cattle feed to paper, and Missouri offers a near-perfect climate and soil conditions for this industrial crop. When compared to corn or wheat/soybean as a double crop, the USDA estimates the potential return per acre on fiber hemp as up to $473 per acre, and on seed hemp as up to $604 per acre, while seed corn averages out to $-2 per acre and wheat/soybeans double crop averages to $70 per acre.
It's time for Missouri to experience an economic revival and allow our farmers, large and small, access to a crop with the potential to change our future.