Smokin' Trees with The Chief

Smokin' Trees with The Chief 

 

After last weeks article on Elevated Eating, prepare yourself for some more mouthwatering photos of food today, although, instead of in the kitchen with a private cannabis chef, we’ve been invited for BBQ at Fort Hale. This fort is not open to the public, and it is not a military base. The flag that flies high here is one of paradise, family, and sanctuary. It’s guarded securely by two United States Military Veterans, who know Fort Hale as the home they’ve made together.

Our host goes by the name, Chief Smoke-A-Tree. We recently had the honor of getting to know The Chief and how smoking trees, both on and off the grill, helps him to live a better life, while managing combat related PTSD, and other conditions. Having partnered with project-22.org, as a sponsor of MJFITNUT, we were very interested to hear what The Chief had to say about his thoughts on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD.     

 

MJFITNUT:

What’s your story Chief?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Chief_ Smokeatree is an idiom, or metaphor if you will, to what I was, who I am, what I do, and what I love.  I am originally from Philadelphia, PA, which is home of the 'Philly Blunt’, as well as a bunch of other cool shit! I joined the Army at age 17, and after some rocky beginnings, I got my act together and completed a very successful 22 year career as an Army Chief Warrant Officer. Hence the beginning of my username "Chief". The rest is simple. 

 

I absolutely LOVE to smoke marijuana, and have just recently fallen back in love with cooking, and in particular, smoking and grilling on my DIY Smoker/Grill. I’ve affectionately named her Bertha, which makes me Smoke A Ton of Trees: 'Chief_Smokeatree'. Both of these pastimes help reduce my stress and anxiety levels, that are present with me everyday, due to living with combat related PTSD, bipolar disorder, and several other physical disabilities that have been inflicted over the years . The SSRIs, (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors*), don't do shit for my mental, or physical conditions, so smoking marijuana, as well as using CBD and THC oils, have been my saving grace, and part of my daily regiment.

*Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are drugs typically used as antidepressants, in the treatment of major depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders.

MJFITNUT:

We absolutely LOVE BBQ! We actually catered our own wedding reception with 2 smoked pork shoulders, 2 smoked chickens, and we even smoked up a slab of ribs just to tear it up and mix it in with the baked beans! Wish we had a set up like yours!

You've mentioned on your Instagram, your life is focused on your spiritual, mental, and physical fitness. How long have you felt this way?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Being in the Army, physical and mental toughness is always preached, but the mental part takes a back seat due to blocking out any emotions that may affect your "mental stability" while performing your daily duties. Whether in garrison or combat; "You Train As You Fight". Yeah I know right, because in the end, blocking shit out is what destroys your mental stability. 

About a year after retiring from the Army I found myself spiraling out of control, and I felt like I was at my breaking point. The Army was like a splint or a tourniquet metaphorically speaking. The operational tempo kept me from mentally bleeding out, but when life slowed down, and my mind continued to run at 110%, I knew it was only a matter of time before catastrophic failure was next. Nothing should operate at 110%, so never believe that bullshit motivation line, "Give it 110%”. After all, would you run your car at 110%, or use 110% of your funds in the bank?!?! You'll end up broke down, and in the negative all the time! This was when I realized some changes needed to happen, and happen fast.

MJFITNUT:

We really like your take on the 110% line, and how it’s bullshit! Now, you’re also quoted on Instagram as saying “Pharma free life is the key”. Was there ever a time in your life when you didn’t feel this way?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Once your term of service in the military is up you are no longer a number. In fact, you are nothing, so they pass you off to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where a whole different type of pain and suffering begins! 

I began to seek treatment for my neglected mental state, so I agreed to start taking VA prescribed SSRI's to control my anxiety, depression, bipolar and nerve pain throughout my 40 year old body. This was the beginning of my demise! I wanted help so bad that I went against my principles by taking any FDA mind altering drugs; especially SSRIs like Cymbalta. I tried to get off twice, and failed epically, due to the extreme withdrawal side effects. That was a year ago, and the journey to become PHARMA FREE continues. Now that I am in a better place in life I think I will try to taper very soon. 

MJFITNUT:

That’s really sad to hear about the VA, but we do hear it a lot. It’s one thing for you to decide for yourself to live a pharmaceutical free life, but what made you want to set a positive example for others?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

One of my roles as a Chief in the Army was to set a positive example for all Soldiers, and a lot of them look up to Warrant Officers because of the technical and tactical experiences that most Chiefs posses. I share my story of mental illness, and PTSD, to show them they can still live a productive life, but sometimes it takes extreme life changes, that unfortunately, a lot of us veterans can't make, or don't have the means or support behind them to survive this battle after they return from the war.

MJFITNUT:

It’s inspiring to know you still have a determination to set a positive example and lead, even though you have no obligation to. That says a lot about your character and we believe it deserves to be commended. 

We are partnered with project-22.org. Have you ever heard of them, or other similar Project 22 movements?

If you're a Veteran, and want to learn more about how marijuana may be able to help you, click here. 

If you're a Veteran, and want to learn more about how marijuana may be able to help you, click here. 

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Yes. I've not only heard of project-22.org, and many others, but I almost was a client! Losing 22 veterans a day due to suicide is a tragedy, and is becoming an epidemic. I use to wonder why someone would not want to live until I found myself in that dark hole. I may still be in that hole today, but at least, thanks to marijuana, my hole has DirecTV, internet, no people, and instead of it being dark, it's slightly shaded!

MJFITNUT:

It’s good to know you were aware of them as a resource, and even better to know you feel you’re in a better place now. We’ve commented on your Instagram as you having the talent of looking comfortable in every photo, which is still holding true. What do you think gives you such a peaceful quality? 

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Dude!!!! Have you seen my crib?!?!?! I worked hard to create a paradise for my family and myself. We are miles from fast food, people, and drama!  Planes don't even fly overhead! Not to mention, I have some cool ass kids, and dogs, and an amazing, super-supportive wife that is also a veteran living with PTSD. They are my circle of trust!

crib.jpg

MJFITNUT:

We love the crib! It’s so important to have that support system of family, or friends, or friends that are family! It’s great you’ve been able to create your own paradise. We strongly believe animals can play an important role in helping with issues like depression and anxiety. We have cats, but we love dogs too! 

Who are your furry friends?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

Shadow and Diesel are my babies! I was blessed with Diesel, my English Bull Terrier when me and my family returned from living in Hawaii in November of 2015. I was looking for a companion to help me with my PTSD, and when I got Diesel, my life changed forever. He was a lil 8 week old terror, and 18 months later, he has saved me so many times! 

Shadow came with the house. Yeah I know!!!! The sellers were leaving the country, and Shadow was too old to make the journey, so instead of someone fostering the old girl, we asked if she could stay and her and Diesel have been best buds ever since!

MJFITNUT:

That was very nice of you to suggest, and we bet Diesel was excited to get a new friend too! They look super cuddly! 

Now this wouldn’t be an interview with Chief Smoke-A-Tree if we didn’t talk about smoking some trees! 

So what’s your favorite way to cheef it Chief? 

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

I LOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEE to smoke it! I prefer RAW Organic Hemp Cones, and when I'm feeling like a BOSS, I smoke my greens in a King Palm Palm Leaf wrap. They’re both chemical and tobacco free, and wayyy healthier than sweets and that other crap! 

MJFITNUT:

And what’s your favorite strain to cheef on?

Chief Smoke-A-Tree:

My favorite strain? Due to my bipolar nature, I prefer a hybrid cannabis strain like Sour OG. Such a awesome strain! It's 50/50 DNA helps me stay balanced. Now, if I want to get couch lock, and watch @vicelandtv allll day, then I love Northern Lights!  Bottom line is, Im’a smoke allll that ish!

MJFITNUT:

We’ll smoke all that ish, right along with you! Thank you so much Chief, for giving us a glimpse inside Fort Hale. It has been an honor, and a pleasure, to share your story. We hope it inspires others, as much as it does us. We would also like to take a moment to sincerely thank you for your service. You, and others like you, sacrifice a lot for the freedom of our nation. We would also like to thank all of the brave men and women, who have served, and are still serving. 

Cheers to freedom, those who serve to protect it, and veterans like Chad Hale who deserve to live as free as they wish! 

 

Sidenote:

It was great getting to speak with The Chief today! Next Tuesday, we're getting hands on, with a massage therapist who wants to be the face of CannaFitness!  

We're also back this Friday with our 4/20 Day, including Denver's 420 Rally. Find out how the rally was for us, what we think about all the negative publicity, and what we were doing when 4:20 struck that day!   

Until Friday, be well friends. 

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