Originally from Santa Cruz, born in Redwood City, Jake has grown in Fremont.
Jake Scallan joined the Air Force at the age of 21. He was deployed in 2009 to Iraq to serve the country as part of the security at a joint base. His tasks included guarding the security tower with a sniper rifle and going on patrols, outside the perimeter mostly at night.
The experience in Iraq left him with post traumatic stress disorder, diagnosed in 2010 by the VA heath care system.For Jake, the PTSD almost destroyed his life. He was on a VA section of anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic drugs. ‘You’d sleep for 16, 17 hours a day, and even when you were awake, you could barely open your eyes.’ Jake said. A horrifying image, for a man in his twenties.
He had to take a trail of mix-minding pills like Vicadin, Seroquel, Zoloft and Klonopin for years after he was diagnosed.
After taking those pills and feeling like a vegetable, Jake decided to try cannabis. He was a doubtful at first, because he wasn’t attracted by cannabis in his teenage. He said that “It just wasn’t for me.”
Nothing really helped his PTSD so he gave cannabis a chance. Using cannabis instead of pills, Jake noticed a better sleep at night and a better perspective on his thoughts and behavior. He is now completely recovered, and after his case, a book was written . The whole story and everything about his cannabis recovery is in “Cannabis saved my life:Stories of hope and healing” written by Santa Cruz journalist Elizabeth Limbach. Click the Amazon link.
Jake has devoted his time to putting lives back together with cannabis. He now runs a program in the Santa Cruz Veteran Alliance called Veterans Compassion Program. The group is running under the California Preposition 215 and provides veterans with cannabis, offering the support needed to pass through their medical problems. The group started with 8 to 10 veterans with monthly meetings. Now the number of participants is 10 time larger. Jake said, that the veterans need help, not only with healing their PTSD, but healing from the rough pharmaceuticals treatments given by the VA.
“I still have my good days and my bad days,” he says. “But working with cannabis has propelled my life to the level where it is now. It allows me to slow down, think and not get angry.