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Veteran Chronicles: A Passion for People

Welcome to Twenty22Many Veteran Chronicles. You are one of our most dedicated activists. The story of Cherissa Jackson—a woman, mother, veteran, advocate, and warrior—is bound to inspire you. This is an honour to meet such an extraordinary person.

Jackson, a U.S. Air Force veteran has completed 23 years active-duty service. She also worked as a nurse for 10 years. Now, she is a U.S. Air Force combat vet. Three combat deployments, Operation Enduring Freedom (Operation Iraqi Freedom), were her experiences. Jackson eventually became known as “America’s Combat Nurse” because of her extensive combat experience. Her accomplishments are incredible, it’s obvious.

Jackson was a post-traumatic stress disorder advocate after she left her military service. Her accolades speak volumes about her dedication to veterans and all people.

Jackson composed in 2016. The Power to Get Through Your Pain: At Peace, Not in Pieces– A personal account of her struggle with PTSD. According to American Nurse Jackson began a mission in 2016, with SHEROES United, to Rome, Italy to address the stigma of PTSD. She coordinated with the Vatican and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the city of Amatrice. Jackson traveled with Project Give Hope to Uganda for a humanitarian medical mission. There she carried school supplies and rice as well as sugar, sugar, salt, and other essentials.

Jackson was named one of “25 Individuals of Influence” in the June 2018 issue of PTSD Magazine. The 2020 Star Nurses Awards were presented to her by The Washington Post. She also won the Nightingale Award. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Medical University of South Carolina and has been accepted to the University of Maryland Masters of Science Program in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics.

Jackson is a tireless activist in cannabis advocacy. Jackson is a breath of fresh air, a symbol of devotion and an incredible source of inspiration. Jackson established a virtual conference last year called the AMVETS HEAL Program Veterans Alternative Healthcare Summit. The summit was held June 27, 2021. She spoke about the effectiveness of medical marijuana and the ways it could save veterans’ lives. 

Jackson was most recently the CEO and founder of We Decode. This company provides personalized and predictive whole-health suggestions to help you achieve optimal cannabis use and health. The organization’s DNA tests and genetically aligned cannabis formulations provide a faster approach to treatment that help to avoid delays in care while saving veterans time and money and creates a better experience for her customers. No longer will veterans have to endure months of trial and error from taking products that aren’t a positive and effective experience. No longer will veterans have to spend thousands of dollars on products that don’t work or treat their symptoms of pain, anxiety, stress, loss of sleep, and PTSD. We Decode makes it easy to choose the best type of medical cannabis.

This past May, I had the honor of sharing the same stage with Jackson at the 2022 Cannabis Science Conference West in Long Beach, California, as she moderated the “Panel: Veterans” discussion. Jackson made time during her busy schedule to speak about medical marijuana, veterans and ending prohibition.

Chronic NewsThe suicide rate for someone who joins the military is higher than that of those killed in combat or training accidents. This is why you believe it’s happening.

[The]Suicide is not an uncommon career. Many veterans take their lives after military service because of the “invisible scars” of war that many don’t get treatment for after leaving the military.

What’s the single most important piece of legislation you have worked on for cannabis legalization or veterans’ access to medical cannabis?

[The]Veterans Medical Marijuana Safety Harbor Act.

A decorated combat nurse. Do you believe cannabis will change the medical world as we currently know it once it’s allowed to play with the others in Big Pharma? 

Absolutely, plant medicine isn’t new. Many doctors and practitioners don’t prescribe [cannabis] and aren’t huge advocates because they aren’t knowledgeable about its efficacy. When the medical community is educated and on board with the ECS, we can get them to adopt it. [endocannabinoid system]It will impact how healthcare providers treat their patients. Patients should be empowered to use cannabis as medicine. Plant medicine is an option that has existed for many centuries.

“Plant medicine has been around for centuries, and patients should feel empowered to choose this option.” – Cherissa Jackson

I can’t begin to tell you how important your work is. Giving a veteran the knowledge to seek out the “right” cannabis strain is very special, especially because cannabis affects every human being differently. Is there any popular or common strain you keep seeing in your search results?

Each patient has a different reason for using cannabis. It’s important that consumers are educated about the cannabis plant so they can make an informed decision about their health and the best strain for them.

The next question is the one I asked every activist in my past two years. No other activist has ever answered it. Are you positive that there will soon be an end to prohibition on cannabis?

Yes, I believe it will happen, and it’s the efforts of cannabis advocates and groups that will help this fight. It’s only a matter of time, just like alcohol, that it will happen. I pray it happens soon. Congress is making this choice while veterans die. We must act fast if we wish to save our veterans and alter their life with plant medicine.