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How Cannabis Saved One Veteran From Taking His Own Life

Cannabis saved veteran Mike Whiter from taking his own life. “If I hadn’t started using cannabis regularly back in 2012, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. In 2002, Whiter had just been medically discharged from the Marine Corps after 11 years and two combat tours. “I had no job prospects and absolutely no idea what I was going to do,” he said. “I wasn’t expected to be out of the Marines so soon, and I was having a really hard time dealing with the transition.” Whiter says that he was prescribed pills after getting discharged that ended up being detrimental to his mental health. He attempted to take his own life several times in the following years. “I was in and out of the inpatient psych unit at the VA, and every single time I left, I came out with new prescription–a new tool to numb myself with, and potentially overdose on, the next time sh*t gets rough,” he said. Whiter says he hit a turning point when he saw a show on the Discovery Channel called “Weed Wars” that highlighted veterans who used cannabis in one of its episodes. He began using cannabis and said it allowed him to think critically in an introspective manner. “Not only did cannabis save my life, it’s kept me alive,” he said. “It’s given me a purpose, and it’s allowed me to continue my service.” If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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