The Veteran Chronicles: Gotta Grow

in Culture

I am incredibly proud to bring you another former United States Marine 0311 rifleman (like myself) to this month’s Veteran Chronicles: Tom Rand.

Rand is a Marine Corps veteran, activist, proud father, and husband who was born and raised in Reading, Massachusetts. At the ripe young age of 17, Rand bravely stepped on the yellow footprints at Parris Island, South Carolina, a tradition that all recruits undergo in their transition from civilian to U.S. Marine. He was immediately deployed to Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, and when he returned home, he was stationed at Camp Geiger, North Carolina, for the duration of his service.

Today, Rand will proudly tell you that he has broken free from the chains of big pharmaceutical companies and the addiction that often comes with those very strong chains—chains that very few veterans can break. Now, Rand proudly pays allegiance to longtime Korean War veteran brothers for leading him down the path toward medicinal cannabis. That’s all it took to open his eyes wide to the healing powers and possibilities of cannabis.

Nearly a decade ago, Rand proudly picked up the nickname “Tom Cape Gardener”—a reference to Rand’s mission to help any and all veterans who wanted the opportunity to grow their own cannabis. Rand reaches out to other local growers and producers in search of donations, such as used equipment, seeds, lights, ballasts, etc., to give to his fellow veterans for free. Rand has never charged a veteran a penny for anything that has been donated. As Rand likes to put it, he does it “all for a handshake,” a motto he has used since the founding of his organization.

Five years ago, Rand realized his mission wasn’t a solo journey. Rand needed assistance from other patriots and veterans, which led to …

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Author: Patrick Seifert / High Times

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