Ironically, He Says, The First Time He Tried Smoking Weed Was Sitting In A Combat Zone In Saudi Arabia.

Higher Fellowships’ leaders organized the rally and spoke at length about removing the stigma around pot. There were guest speakers from the Indiana branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and a free flowing conversation in the crowd about how marijuana has helped close relatives and friends. A unique perspective came from a military veteran who yelled, “I fought for you to be able to use this courthouse!” as Young recounted the legal battle with the county commissioners. Alfred Martin, the vocal veteran from Lafayette, completed two tours in the Gulf War and one tour during the U.S. invasion of Panama. Ironically, he says, the first time he tried smoking weed was sitting in a combat zone in Saudi Arabia. But he joined the movement to legalize medical marijuana only after he returned from military duty. After sustaining multiple back injuries, Martin says he was prescribed regular pain medication from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but none of those treatments had any effect for his lingering pain. With nerve damage in both legs and arms, doctors prescribed multiple addictive painkillers. “I was on morphine, Norco 10s, Valium 10s; you name it, I was on it,” Martin says.

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