After 21 years of military service, retired Army Maj. David Bass’ freedom and health are currently at the mercy of Texas state government.
He’s one of thousands of veterans facing potential incarceration and fines for self-medicating with cannabis.
For David, it all started after serving on the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad.
Upon his return home, Veterans Affairs doctors diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
His treatment consisted of a cocktail of highly addictive opium-derived painkillers and psychotropic drugs with horrible side effects.
“I felt like a zombie. I had flat emotions, experienced suicidal ideation. I got addicted to hydrocodone. It got to where I couldn’t do without taking it every day…”
Migraines, insomnia and increased anxiety were just a few of the side effects he experienced as his doctors moved him from one prescription to another.
After one year of this treatment, David’s health continued to deteriorate…
“[My doctors] told me that I needed to take these drugs for at least two more years before we even talked about not using them anymore.”
David took his health into his own hands. And it made him a criminal…
“I became very discouraged. One day, I was so discouraged that I flushed the drugs down the toilet…
“I researched medical cannabis and discovered that thousands of veterans testify that cannabis is effective for chronic pain and PTSD.”
That’s when he tried cannabis and found similar results.
“Cannabis wasn’t a gateway drug for me. It was an exit drug,”