People cross your path for a reason. This story is a reminder to pay attention when this happens. You just might be able to turn a negative situation into a positive response.

I recently had the honor and opportunity to connect with a disabled Veteran his name is Rodney Johnson. He shared with me his disappointment, negative and unacceptable treatment he experienced from the Veteran’s Administration while being treated for his disabilities. He expressed the ridiculous amount of the “lack of professionalism” and the “consious neglet” to rehabilitate people that have been affected by the opiate and narcotic epidemic. Instead of being  part of a solution our government employees are a big part of the problem. 

 His story opened my eyes regarding how our Veteran’s are really treated and how these men and women are caught up in the opiate and narcotic problem in America.

Rodney was brought up in a military atmosphere and spent a lot of time as a child with his father working at a VA hospital. Many of the terms and names of pharmaceuticals got to be familiar to him and acceptable as the norm for young Rodney, including flu shots that he received every year starting when he was a small child. 

After graduating from High School Rodney wasted no time and enlisted in the Military and he was stationed in Pensacola Florida. While in the Navy he was preparing to get deployed overseas but before he would be deployed he had to be administered a series of  “anthrax vaccine’s”. Not long after these vaccine’s were administered Rodney woke up to discover he wasn’t feeling the same and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this resulted in the loss of his vision. Type 1 is a growing concern and a disease that develops often after vaccinations are administered along with epilepsy, autism and attention deficit disorder.This is happening more and more with children and the term “vaxxed” is getting all too familiar. His superiors then informed him that he would have to be immediatly discharged from the military and was sent home.

After his return home and now dealing with the burden of type1 diabetes it wasn’t long before he started noticing massive swelling in his feet and was then diagnosed with having neuropathy and arithamologia .The pain was so intense he had been put on pain medication by the V.A. Doctor that was treating him. I’m sure this will be just as shocking to you as it was to me unless you are a Veteran. This was the medications he was encouraged to take and prescribed to take every day for years.One day Rodney decided he was done living like a zombie and wanted his life back. Even if it meant living in pain every day for the rest of his life.

He was prescribed over 200 pills a month on some of the following opiates and narcotics.

Fentanyl, Morphine drip, Liquid Valium,Percocet, Coladipin, Toridal, Vicodin, Acetominaphin they also where performing epidurals which would  put him in a wheelchair, depression and anxiety pills that he refused to take because he claimed he wasn’t depressed , After all how could you even feel any emotions after taking all those dangerous pharmaceuticals on a daily basis.

After his decision to take his life back, Rodney along with his wife and 9 year old daughter went to inform the VA Doctor that he wanted to begin the process of weaning himself  off of these harmful drugs and asked what options were available for him. He said he could tell his doctor was very disturbed and showed complete unapproval of his decision. He told Rodney those pharmaceuticals were his only option”take them or leave them”. To Rodney’s surprise this man was not trying to help him whatsoever ,he in fact was a pill pusher. As a matter of fact he seemed mad that Rodney was trying to improve his quality of life. Since this doctor was not offering any other options Rodney mentioned that he had heard about the positive stories of people treating pain with CBD Oil.  CBD is short for cannabidoil that is derived from the cannabis plant and is used to treat hundreds of diseases and ailments, especially for pain. He said you would have thought he committed a major crime! All of the sudden he was being treated like some kind of criminal in front of his family. The doctor said “WHOA DID YOU JUST SAY WEED? I GUESS WE NEED TO TEST YOU ! EVIDENTLY YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WANT TO DIE” The Doctor then ordered his Vicodin Prescription to be taken away cold turkey, after 15 years and 200 pills a month,the cold hearted VA Doctor tried replacing pain medicine with muscle relaxers,that’s when Rodney told him he wouldn’t be needing his so called “care” any longer.

At this point Rodney didn’t know who to turn to so he sought out another VA Doctor for help. On his initial appointment he discovered she had no idea what an insulin pen was and in fact had never heard of one. He said the whole time they were there, instead of discussing pain management, this VA Doctor was asking his wife personal questions about their marital status and her role as a blind Veteran’s wife. He was there seeking alternative treatment for his unbearable pain that he was living with, not to discuss how his wife has to button his shirt everyday. It was obvious this doctor wasn’t trying to help him either. Now he was forced to drive 2 hours away to Durham where he met with a Neurologist that told him his only option would be opiates. He was put back on Percocet and after 2 months he couldn’t handle it anymore and stopped taking them. 

It has been 5 years now and even though Rodney lives with excruciating pain on a daily basis he said he will never go back to letting those deadly pharmaceuticals take away his quality of life. 

He has however found a successful way to treat himself for his pain but unfortunately he only gets to experience this pleasure once a year for only 1 week. How you ask? With cannabis! The only downfall is that Rodney lives in a State where it is still illiigal so he has to travel to a cannabis friendly State to get quality pain relief. His trips are sometimes limited to very few products due to his financial situation caused by his disabilities.
After hearing his story and realizing our own Government is a big part of the opiate epidemic that is taking far too many lives and leaving our disabled service men and women with little or no options, I decided that with Veteran’s Day around the corner I wanted to do something to help him and promote awareness especially about how he was treated by those he was giving his life for, he had planned to retire from the military, give them a life of service. Now they have left him with no answers and no support.

This year on Nov 8th Rodney and his Father in law( that suffers from Parkinson’s disease) will board a plane and fly to Las Vegas Nevada for one week of pain relief. His father in-law is hoping to find some relief from his uncontrollable shaking, a condition caused by Parkinson’s Disease.

I decided to go public with his story and seek help from the Las Vegas Cannabis Community. I started my plea by posting on my social media platforms requesting small gesture of kindness by the Cannabis Businesses. I started searching for the owners and employees on my favorite professional media platform which is Linkden. I was determined to find support for him and it wasn’t long before I got it. To my surprise I was contacted by Thomas Haynie the founder of “LVMMA” LAS VEGAS MEDICAL MARIJUANA ASSOCIATION. Thomas lit an additional fire in my heart to make this act of kindness a success for who I refer to as “My Veteran” Rodney Johnson. 

Thomas along with some awesome connections I have been blessed with, immediately started posting my plea to the cannabis businesses asking for support by donating products or samples to Rodney while he is in Las Vegas. Soon my catch line would be ” Las Vegas takes better care of our Veteran’s than the Government does”  I was also contacted  by Susan Lugo, a publisher with Sensi Magazine. She was kind enough to offer to pick him and his father in law up at the airport and take them safely to Hard Rock Hotel where he will be staying throughout his pain free vacation . 

My only downfall right now is the lack of response for donations. I’m not soliciting a plea for cash for entertainment, that is not why he is going. I’m only asking for small gesture’s of kindness, like samples of cannabis products for his pain, comped meal vouchers or maybe throw him a T-shirt from your business. One of his wishes is a tour of a dispensary where cannabis is growing ,where he can smell those healing and delicious terpenes while feeling the relief they give. I’m counting on YOU Las Vegas to set a positive example and show the world that we care about our Veteran’s . So if your reading this and know someone that can help please forward my blog to them. As a matter of fact I’m asking that you share it anyway just maybe the right person will see it the way I crossed paths with Rodney.

 If your making a trip to your favorite dispensary pick up an extra treat and get it to the Hard Rock Hotel between November 8th and 14th. Tell them at the desk that it’s a gift for Rodney Johnson to show appreciation for his service. If you can’t make it there but would like to help contact me at . We will also arrange a pick-up at any local dispensary in downtown Vegas if necessary. Thank  you for reading his story and for all of the great people showing support . Together we can make a difference for our Veteran’s.

©Jean Everson @Free all The Herb’s

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