If you volunteer your life to the United States government and promise to do whatever they say—up to and including surrender your life—you will still be treated like dirt, kidnapped, caged, and even killed if you come back to this country and try to treat the damage caused by your service...with a plant. Sarah Hollingsworth is one of those veterans.
In 2004 Sarah joined the US Army. On a few months later, Sarah would be in Tahil, Iraq. While she was in Iraq, Sarah was exposed to something that made her gravely ill.
"We are still trying to piece together the exact cause of illness," Sarah tells the Free Thought Project. "However, my very first incident of illness came via anaphylaxis during my tour where I was nearly medevaced to Germany. And I just continued to get worse from there. It could have been the bombed out buildings we stayed in, the burn pits, the vaccines, we have no idea."
The symptoms of Sarah's illness continued to progress and as a result, her health declined. When Sarah got out of the Army, like so many veterans before and after her, she was sick and had no help. Also, like so many veterans before her, Sarah was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.
"My official diagnoses are PTSD, myoclonic jerks, ulcerative colitis and severe mold allergy," said Sarah, noting that the VA and the Army have consistently denied any responsibility for her condition.
"As for what the doctors at the VA did for me. Not much. They sent me from specialist to specialist (still are) and told me it was all in my head. Around 2012/2013 I spent several months in and out of the ICU of private hospitals(ulcerative colitis-related) where I was given a TON of prescription medications and basically left to die with very few answers," Sarah explained.
After watching her health decline in these conditions, Sarah's family stepped in and weaned her from the prescription drug cocktail the hospitals were feeding her. She then began a holistic approach to healing herself.
"My family was against pills and weaned me off of them," she told TFTP. "I then went under the care of a chiropractor that saved my life."
Although weaning herself from the meds helped her in the short term, unfortunately, her condition would eventually worsen. That's when she decided to try Rick Simpson Oil, RSO.
For those unfamiliar, RSO is highly-concentrated cannabis oil extracted from female cannabis plants that contain at least 20 percent THC or more. Simpson favors high-THC and low-CBD content when treating maladies. Whereas CBD Oil is made from the drug-producing Cannabis Indica that’s been bred to contain low concentrations of THC or the hemp-producing Cannabis Sativa, which produces nearly no amount of THC but does produce some amount of CBD.
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Knowing the potential for RSO to treat so many illnesses, Sarah raised enough money through a GoFundMe in 2015 to make it to Oregon and try it. The results were nothing short of incredible. Nearly all of her symptoms disappeared and for the next two months, Sarah would enjoy life again.
However, in Sarah's home state of Missouri, all forms of cannabis are illegal and once the RSO was depleted, she was unable to get any more.
As Sarah explains, her health took a turn for the worse and started rapidly declining.
"October of 2015 is when I started getting really sick again. I hadn't had medicine in several months and was just rapidly declining. At this point I still hadn't received my disability rating, could not work and Lauren was working very little. I needed a constant babysitter. I had lost my hair for the 2nd time, my teeth were falling out of my mouth at a pretty rapid rate. It was so bad."
As Sarah essentially required round-the-clock care, her fiancé Lauren was barely making enough at work and the two had no money to get back to Oregon to obtain more medicine. The situation was bleak.
However, Sarah's family stepped up and helped them return to Oregon to get enough medicine to relieve Sarah of her symptoms—indefinitely.
Sarah explains that she's been off of RSO for six months and she is doing very well. "Although, I do wish we could afford to make it out west or even purchase the quantity of flower to try and make our own," Sarah said. "But we can't right now and that's okay. My life is not on the line and if it were, my family has my back."
Unfortunately, Sarah's case is not unique. Across the country, veterans are suffering from PTSD and a slew of other illnesses and attempting to treat those illnesses with a plant can and will get them arrested and their lives ruined.
As Sarah says, to treat her illness, "I have had to become a criminal. I have lost everything I had because I was too ill to have any kind of job or to even be home alone. Lauren gave up her career but we gained so much more because of people and places that do not consider cannabis use a crime."