The founders of Veteran-owned and operated American Weed Co. (AmWeCo) announced they will travel to Washington, DC, next week for meetings with lawmakers as a new Republican majority in the US House ramps up. Their mission: legalize cannabis for every veteran nationwide. And they have the backing of a former Republican Speaker of the House.
Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of American Weed Co., Ryan Brooks, and Sean Gilfillan
"Veterans are the reason we are all free," said AmWeCo co-founders and co-CEOs Ryan Brooks and Sean Gilfillan. "We're stepping up for change, and we're calling on Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington to do the same. Legalize cannabis for Veterans now."
Brooks and Gilfillan will be in Washington, DC, the week of March 6, urging legislators to support the Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act (H.R. 394), bipartisan legislation authored by US Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) that would ensure Veterans receive the appropriate treatment to address their health care needs by prohibiting the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from denying veteran benefits due to the use of medical cannabis in states where the substance is legal.
"What Sean and Ryan are doing is admirable, and my guess is it's also going to be pretty effective," said former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). "Hearing directly from veterans and veterans' advocates about the healing potential of cannabis is what made me start to re-examine my position when I was in office, and these guys have a very powerful message."
AmWeCo will also be donating up to 10 percent of its net profits each year to Stop Soldier Suicide, where Sean is on the advisory board. AmWeCo revenues also fund the company's involvement in the National Cannabis Roundtable, an alliance of cannabis companies and other stakeholders working to modernize federal cannabis policy on behalf of veterans and other Americans from all walks of life.
American Weed Co. launched on Veterans Day in November of 2022 and is "on a mission to legalize cannabis for every Veteran." Gilfillan, a US Army Veteran diagnosed with PTSD in 2007, and Brooks says that the mission is personal for every member of the team.
"The men and women who wear our uniform and fight for our freedom deserve the best this nation can give them," said Gilfillan and Brooks. "We owe it to our Veterans to give them the tools to stop suicide, kick addictions, and make the transition to civilian life. Why are we making this so hard? Every veteran should be given the freedom to do what they feel is best for them. Freedom is what this country is all about. That means giving them every option available to heal the wounds of war. Current cannabis policy in the United States doesn't allow us to do that. It needs to change."
Brooks and Gilfillan said they'd be in Washington regularly during the 118th Congress to continue to press lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle for common-sense action to reform US cannabis law.
"What Sean and Ryan are doing with AmWeCo is inspiring, and it also has the potential to be very effective," said Boehner. "When I was serving in office, I heard the testimonials of veterans who were convinced about the need for modernization of our laws on cannabis. It made an impact on me and ultimately caused me to rethink my position. And let me tell you, what Ryan and Sean are doing is going to result in others making the same change."
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