I am a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Army. I graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1996 with a major in Russian and a minor in German. I received a Masters Degree in International Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. I also attended the Brno Military Academy in Brno, Czech Republic in 2003. I served in the U.S. Army for 27 years that included two tours in combat. I served as the Defense Attache to Slovenia and was the Army Attache to Bosnia. I served also as the Exchange Officer to the Belgian Army the U.S. Army Liaison Officer to France for two years.
I retired early from the U.S. Army specifically to begin working in the emerging and rapidly evolving medical cannabis industry. I recognized in the latter part of my career that major advances were being made in medical cannabis and that access to medical cannabis could provide relief and heal U.S. military veterans who were suffering from issues such as chronic pain, traumatic brain injury, and PTSD. The veteran population I was entering continues to suffer from elevated suicide rates, addiction to dangerous pharmaceutical medicines, and I wanted to help address these issues by legalizing cannabis and enabling research of this safe, effective, and economical medicine. The human species has been using medical cannabis for 5,000 years. I am ashamed of the fact that the United States brought to the global stage the prohibition of cannabis, by conjuring falsehoods about the evil of marijuana (the derogatory/slang name attached to the plant).
To affect such change and enable necessary access and research to cannabis, I became an activist serving on the board of the Veterans Cannabis Project. I also created my company Harvest 360 which focuses on the science and technology of the cannabis industry. We focus most closely on laboratory testing of the cannabis plant to ensure safety of the product for patients and to provide specificity of this complex plant to researchers.
Czechia should consider deeper investigation and medical cannabis research. I would also implore you to consider leniency on anyone using cannabis, as they are likely using it for medical purposes. This is also in recognition of the United Nations‘ removal of cannabis from its list of dangerous drugs in 2020.
I have recently been made aware of the plight of Robert Veverka, my friend and publisher of Legalizace Magazine. I have known Robert for five years and know that he is an exceptional human being and example of a Czech citizen and leader. Neither he nor his magazine cause „Toxicomania“. His magazine in which I was featured in 2019 provides education, insight, and a forum for this important discussion. Vaclav Havel would be ashamed to know Czechia is prepared to devastate Robert’s life and take away an important part of the Czech cannabis community and conversation. I implore you to show compassion and attempt to understand the important impact that he is having and that the re-legalization of cannabis could have in Czechia, a country that I love and respect.
Todd A. Scattini
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), US Army