Eric Goepel is an advocate, educator, and organizer. He founded the Veterans Cannabis Coalition with fellow Iraq War veteran Bill Ferguson in response to the suicide and overdose crisis that has killed more than 100,000 veterans since 9/11. They saw how veterans were suffering because the common medical response to treating complex and chronic conditions that many faced: heavy doses of pharmaceuticals. As year after year saw no change in veterans dying from preventable causes, more and more veterans started to speak up about the positive impact of cannabis, especially as an alternative to the cocktails of prescribed opioids, sedatives, stimulants, and antidepressants.
As citizen lobbyists on Capitol Hill, organizers in the veterans community, and national educators, the Veterans Cannabis Coalition continues to make the case for ending cannabis prohibition and focusing on developing cannabis-based medicines in the Department of Veterans Affairs.