COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) – Last weekend a few cannabis clubs in Colorado Springs that were handing out free joints to people who would clean up the community.
This weekend, we’re featuring a cannabis lounge that’s teaming up with an organization dedicated to helping those that have served our country.
The Dab Lounge in is hosting their Spring Bake event, and taking part is a group called the Veteran Farmers Alliance.
The founder, Steve Defino, said marijuana helped him heal after returning home and now he’s hoping to offer that same relief to other veterans for free.
“I’ve seen other organizations operate, and I’m not very happy with the way they do it,” Defino said. “They need to be donating more and doing more to show these guys that they actually care.”
Defino handed out edibles and over half a pound of weed to veterans Saturday.
He said he’s battled post-traumatic stress disorder for 10 years and found relief using marijuana.
“I’ve been able to actually go through my memories, recall my memories without getting upset anymore, and I’m starting to live my life again like a normal person,” Defino said.
And now he’s hoping to help others heal by offering free marijuana with no strings attached.
“I’ve talked to guys that are ready to kill themselves. They’re ready to take their own life because they feel like nobody is there for them. So this is a small way to say thank you for what you’ve done,” he said.
It’s costing Defino about $1,400, but he said seeing the veterans be able to interact with others makes it worth it.
“It’s just a band-aid, but for these guys it’s a start. It gets them out of isolation and able to mingle with civilians and re-integrate into society,” Defino said.
“The veterans that receive our medicine, they’re able to sleep. They’re able to be more comfortable, not so hyper-active, hyper-alert. They’re able to let their guard down,” Jacinto Delgado said.
Delgado is an Iraq War veteran who suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.
He said marijuana changed his life when he was introduced to it three years ago.
“I would go three to four days without sleep at a time. With the assistance of cannabis and edibles, I’m able to go to sleep,” he said.
Defino said veterans like Delgado deserve more from the community once they return home.
Even though the marijuana may only offer short-term relief, he said it’s the least he can do for the men and women who have sacrificed for our country.
“This saves lives. This will take [the depression or anxiety] off their mind, at least temporarily, until they can find some more permanent help or relief,” Defino said.
Defino said he is hosting another event on Veteran’s Day in November at the Dab Lounge. He said he’ll be handing out around $25,000 worth of marijuana, marijuana seeds and planting materials.