To get away from the memories of war in Afghanistan — the violence, the unexpected danger, the rush of adrenaline and the hypervigilance that can come with post-traumatic stress disorder — Aaron Newsom started gardening.
In addition to the public gardening he was doing in Santa Cruz County, California, Newsom kept a secret garden in his home. “I grew medical cannabis for myself in my spare bedroom. I didn’t tell anyone for at least a year,” he said. “When I finally told my mom and dad, with my dad being so conservative, I thought they’d freak out, but they were both totally supportive, because I was growing it for the right reasons.”
A friend he met through the nonprofit Farmer Veteran Coalition, fellow veteran Jason Sweatt, shared an enthusiasm for cannabis. When the two met Vietnam veterans hanging out at the VFW, it sparked an idea. Some of the veterans were disabled, and though they also felt that cannabis could help deal with their health issues, most had limited income.
By: Jen Christensen, CNN