VAC Council Member Ricardo Pereyda
Updated: Mar 25
Ricardo Pereyda is from Tucson, Arizona. He grew up working on his grandparent's ranch in Arivaca, near the Mexican border. After the attacks of September 11th, Ricardo enlisted in the United States Army Military Police Corps.
Deployed to Iraq from 2004 - 2005, he performed a wide variety of missions. was ultimately diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress and other service connected disabilities in 2006. He went through years of “traditional” treatment/therapy programs, eventually deciding to wean himself off of the prescription cocktail provided by the VA and rely solely on cannabis — a decision he credits with helping him move forward with his life.
After his medical retirement in 2009, Ricardo pursued higher education at the University of Arizona under the Montgomery and Post 9/11 G.I. Bills. While studying public management and policy, with an emphasis in criminal justice, he also secured a minor in military science and leadership. Ricardo was very active on campus, and held multiple leadership positions. This work led to him applying for, and being accepted as a Fellow with the Flinn-Brown Arizona Center for Civic Leadership, a position he still holds.
Advocating for federal & state cannabis law and public health reform, Ricardo has been outspoken in calling for access to cannabis for Veterans, among other important aspects of this multifaceted federal war on drugs. To that end he has had the tremendous honor of working closely with organizations such as Patients Out of Time, Drug Policy Alliance, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Cannabis Nurses from all walks of life, and Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access — among others.
Mr. Pereyda is now focusing his energy on the Veterans Action Council, of which he is proud to be a member.