Join Informed Texas for this online conference about Texas Veterans and medical cannabis. We will hear from medical professionals about how medical cannabis works and its effects on PTSD and Pain as well as potential prescription drug interactions. Commissioner Miller will update us on Texas’ hemp program. We will also hear the personal stories of several Texas veterans and how medical cannabis has impacted their life.
00:00 - Welcome & Intro - Ret. Major David Bass
06:02 - Growing Hemp for Veterans - Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller
09:37 - How Cannabis Works 101 - Wendy Askew, MD
30:30 - THC As Medicine - Jordan Tishler, MD - Harvard Medical School Instructor, Association of Cannabis Specialists’ President
50:01 - PTSD, Pain and Cannabis - Bryon Adinoff, MD - Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Former Addiction Neuroscientist w Veterans Affairs
01:12:12 - Drug Interactions - Dr Darina A. Douchi, PharmD, MAJ(R) and CEO of Curativo Hemp
02:00:00 - PTSD and Pain Panel
moderated by Retired Major David Bass
Jason Walker, Retired Army NCO
Romana Harrison, Navy Veteran and Owner of Pine Shadows Farm LLC
Phil Gero, Former Sergeant with Pflugerville Police Department
Viridiana Edwards - Medical Cannabis Scholar, Advocate and Entrepreneur
02:39:54 - Veteran Engagement Panel
moderated by Jax Finkel, Executive Director for Informed Texas
Anita Sommers, M(ASCP) and Air Force Veteran
Amanda Walker - Military Spouse
Akila Wienecke - Texas NORML’s Director of Patient Outreach
03:12:27 - Legislative and Electoral Processes - Jax Finkel, Executive Director of Informed Texas
|How Does Cannabis Work - FIT (0.21 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Legislative Process Flow Chart (1.08 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|TCUP - HB 3703 Overview - FIT (0.55 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|VA Directive (0.02 MB)||Available after Purchase|
|Veteran Conference Resource Handout (0.09 MB)||Available after Purchase|
An eighth-generation farmer and rancher, Sid Miller is the 12th Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). He has devoted his life to promoting Texas agriculture, rural communities and the great state of Texas.
Born in De Leon, in Comanche County, in September 1955, Sid Miller graduated with honors from Tarleton State University in Stephenville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Ag Education.
A recognized community leader, Miller was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000. He quickly earned a reputation as a staunch defender of Texas agriculture, constitutional freedoms and individual liberties for all Texans.
He was elected statewide as the 12th Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 2014, and re-elected to his second term in office in 2018.
Since taking office as Agriculture Commissioner, Commissioner Miller has brought real, common sense reform to TDA. Within six months in office, he eliminated a two-and-a-half year backlog in organic certifications. He reshaped field operations to maximize efficiency for Texas taxpayers. This included increasing the number of consumer protection inspections by as much as 183 percent while slashing the miles traveled by TDA inspectors by more than half a million miles a year.
Commissioner Miller also launched Operation Maverick, a consumer protection initiative to round up businesses which failed to register their commercial scales with TDA. Registrations have increased 35 percent, and more than 2,000 previously unregistered businesses are now monitored by TDA to ensure consumers are protected.
A former ag teacher and school board member, Commissioner Miller is committed to fighting childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyles for Texas schoolchildren. His creation of Farm Fresh Fridays and other farm-to-school initiatives resulted in a $14 million increase in the amount of Texas products purchased by schools. Commissioner Miller is also passionate about ensuring rural communities have the water and infrastructure they need to thrive. To that end, he created TDA’s Office of Water to ensure all Texans have access to clean water for today and future generations. Additionally, under his guidance, TDA has directed hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding through the Texas Community Development Block Grant program to local communities for infrastructure improvements and repairs.
Commissioner Miller is the state’s leading advocate around the world for Texas agriculture, Texas-grown products and Texas-owned businesses. He oversees TDA’s world-renowned GO TEXAN program — a marketing effort to showcase the best products, companies and communities that call the Lone Star State home. Since taking office, Commissioner Miller’s passion to increase market exposure for Texas agriculture has led him and his staff to mount trade missions to Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Israel, China and every continent on the globe, except Antarctica. Commissioner Miller is a businessman who breeds and trains American Quarter Horses. In his spare time, he is a recognized rodeo cowboy who holds 12 world championship titles.
He and his wife, Debra, have been married for going on 40 years. They have two sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren. They are active members of the Cowboy Church of Erath County, where Commissioner Miller also serves as an elder.
Dr. Wendy Askew is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist in private practice in San Antonio, Texas. She has also board-certified in Functional and Regenerative Medicine. She serves as Medical Director for Foundation for an Informed Texas.
She is on a mission to help patients achieve real health and wellness throughout their lives through the integration of holistic, regenerative, and conventional medicine therapies. Having personally experienced the healing effects of cannabis medicine on her own autoimmune disease has deepened her conviction that patients deserve broad access to this healing plant.
Dr. Askew is a proud veteran of the USAF where she served on Active Duty for over eleven years. During her nearly twenty-year career in medicine she has served on various hospital committees, trained residents in academic medicine programs, participated in medical missions, and built a thriving private practice. Dr. Askew hosts a vlog entitled The Whole Truth and is a contributing medical expert for many local and national publications.
She is married to Sam Sitterle, and has two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Sophie, and a handful of rescue pets. When she isn’t working, she enjoys exercise, travel, meditation, crime podcasts and personal & professional growth.
Dr. Tishler is a Cannabis Specialist. Through his training in Internal Medicine and years of practice as an Emergency Physician, Dr. Tishler brings his knowledge, reason, and caring to patients here at inhaleMD, and through his advocacy work at the local and national levels.
Dr. Tishler graduated from both Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, trained at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and is faculty at both the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He has spent many years working with the underserved, particularly providing care for Veterans. Having treated countless patients harmed by alcohol and drugs, his observation that he had never seen a cannabis overdose led Dr. Tishler to delve deeply into the science of cannabis safety and treatment.
Dr. Tishler is a frequent speaker and author on a variety of topics related to the medical applications of cannabis. He is the President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists which aims to educate clinicians, lawmakers, and the industry about best practices and needed tools for proper patient care.
Bryon Adinoff, MD is an addiction psychiatrist and academician. He was appointed Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine following his retirement as Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and as a psychiatrist for 30 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has published over 175 papers and book chapters on the neurobiology and treatment of addiction and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In his semi-retired status, he is evolving from focusing on the consequences of substance use itself to the consequences of the drug war. As a Founding Member, his commitment to the goals of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation arises from his desire to ensure that the harsh, punitive prohibition of cannabis use is replaced by a regulatory system that protects both the individual and society.
Dr Darina A. Douchi, PharmD, MAJ(R) is an experienced medical legal consultant and CEO of Curativo Hemp with 17 years as a clinical pharmacist specializes in pain and psychiatric medicine. After years of working with the severely ill Warrior Wounded Soldiers and enduring her own struggle with chronic pain, she developed an interest in the science of medical cannabis and since then, she became an ambassador of Medical Cannabis for her patients. Dr. Douchi holds private educational sessions to educate the medical community on the benefits of Cannabis. Dr. Douchi is a proud U.S. Army retired Major who served honorably from 2009-2017.
Jax Finkel is Executive Director for Foundation for an Informed Texas. After a decade of involvement in marijuana law reform, she founded this 501c3 nonprofit which focuses on rural education. In her tenure, Jax has given hundreds of interviews and participated in many panel discussions and speaking engagements. Foundation for an Informed Texas produced the first medical cannabis ad, which played in rural areas on Fox News and MSNBC. She created curriculum, helped organize and execute regional workshops from 2015 to present. She believes in freely sharing information and facilitating organizational growth.
Jason Walker is a career NCO with over 20 years of service with the Army. Jason was diagnosed with severe PTSD in 2016. He was medically retired from the Army in 2017. Cannabis has saved him from a pharmaceutical nightmare. He uses cannabis to combat symptoms of PTSD. He was prescribed many different medications for PTSD. SSRI's, antipsychotics, antidepressants, sedatives, anticonvulsants, alpha-blockers and some others.
Romana Harding is a disabled Navy veteran with Complex PTSD and chronic pain. She is a survivor of military sexual trauma. Her healing has come through speaking out about surviving MST and how cannabis has helped her to exit from alcohol and prescription drugs to legislators in Texas and Washington. She has participated numerous documentaries and conferences for cannabis advocacy.
Currently she and her husband are building an Agri-Therapy farm for veterans and their families near Cut and Shoot, Texas.
Philip Gero is a former Pflugerville Police Officer who served 12 years with the department. Phil served in many compacities during his career with the department including Patrol Sergeant and K9 handler. He made the decision to leave the job after suffering the effects of PTSD and mental health deterioration. At the time of his resignation he served as the Sergeant over persons crimes in Criminal Investigations.
After leaving the police department Phil discovered that the use of cannabis was extremely helpful in treating his PTSD and anxiety. While searching for community around this medicine, Phil found Texas NORML. He currently serves on their board as the Law Enforcement Advisor. As a member and activist Phil strives to bring more transparency to policy around policing and cannabis law. He hopes to inspire others who struggle with the mental health and trauma to share their stories.
Phil currently lives with his wife and three children. He is the owner of a successful small business that serves the local community. Phil is always working to bring positivity to the narrative around cannabis and looks forward to working toward the goal of legalization.
Cannabis Science has brought Anita Sommers M(ASCP) a new sense of awareness, mission, and name CBD Genie. Her career, education, and unfortunate medical history has set the stage to educate the Endocannabinoid System and therapeutic compounds found in nature in a fun, memorable, comprehensive way. Her love and passion for both cannabis and science have finally come together in the state of Texas, and she is honored to be a part of history and educating the facts.
Pending 501c3 nonprofit: Veterans for Smart Farming, with a mission to educate smart, organic, sustainable practices while giving back to the farm to table community and bringing ourselves and Mother Earth to balance.
My name is Amanda Walker. My husband is a career Army NCO who was diagnosed with severe PTSD. Cannabis has been a lifesaver for our family.
Akila was born in North Carolina but Texas has been home for over 20 years. Akila has been a healthcare professional for over 5 years and strongly supports homeopathic care and individual freedoms. Akila has been described as kind,sassy, supportive, energetic, and undeniably empowering. She has been an activist since 2015 and has chosen to bring her passion for life into the cannabis industry to empower and stand with other patients in Texas to bring about change. Akila’s motivation as an activist: people helping people. If she can help empower you and motivate you then she’s planted the seed and full legalization is just the beginning.
Viridiana is a born and raised El Paso Texas native. At the age of 17 she joined the U.S. Army and left for South Carolina for basic training. A few years later in 2009, she received orders to deploy to Kandahar, Afghanistan. In June of 2015, Viridiana received a medical retirement from the U.S. Army after 10 years of service due to injuries that were sustained while serving in Afghanistan from 2009-2010.
Viridiana sought treatment for her injuries with Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, she was prescribed pharmaceutical medications that ended up harming her instead of helping her. Her curiosity led her to find more veterans that were also being harmed by treatment. As a result, she developed a national study on why U.S. veterans were electing to treat their maladies with cannabis in lieu of, or in conjunction with pharmaceutical medication. In 2019 her thesis study titled “The Battle Off the Battlefield: Exploring Medical Cannabis Use Among US Veterans Looking for Relief”, was published with The University of Texas at El Paso as part of her M.A. in Sociology. That same year Viridiana was accepted into the first class, in the nation’s first, Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She expects to graduate in May 2021.
Given Texas’ cannabis laws, Edwards was curious why over 70% of her thesis study responses came from Texas veterans. On August 17, 2020, along with Foundation for an Informed Texas, Edwards designed and launched a Texas wide study on medical cannabis use which received over 3,000 responses from veterans, civilians, and individuals who left Texas for another state which has a less restrictive medical cannabis program. This data will be shared with Texas legislators for the 2021 Texas 87th Legislative Session in support of the bills which are requesting an expansion to the Texas Compassionate Use Program. Because of her study, Edwards was contacted by Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy to join their ranks as a non-resident scholar for Drug Policy.
In November 2019 she founded CannaVi Hemp, a CBD Hemp product line with personally formulated products. Viridiana also sits on various boards including Foundation for an Informed Texas, Texas NORML, and Veterans Action Council.
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