“We feel that this is one of those areas where service members are being left behind,” states Jeremy Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “There’s
been an overreliance and over-prescription of opioids, where medical marijuana seems to be one of those areas in which cannabis news we could make a lot better use of pain management treatments …
The issue bucks conventional partisan lines and reform will be supported by Veterans, according to polls. A survey of veterans and their health professionals ran with an Independent team and marketed by the American Legion found that 92 percent of veterans support Medical marijuana study and 81% support legalizing medical marijuana. The survey found That 1 in 5 specialists already use cannabis to get a medical requirement. A poll of members of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America discovered comparable aid for medical marijuana research And legalization, also reported use.
In public remarks, VA secretary Robert Wilkie has been unequivocal that the VA’s policies will probably Not change until national laws permit marijuana usage. He has also voiced concern at the lack Of reliable research concerning marijuana’s potential health outcomes.
“Well, it is the federal law, and it’s simple,” Wilkie stated in a meeting with Colorado Public Radio.
“We are still really in the early stages of determining that impact.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have lately reinvigorated a push to address the problem, introducing A handful of bipartisan measures directed at increasing medical marijuana access to veterans And forcing the VA to research medical cannabis. Similar legislative pushes in
The past has failed, but there are signs of a burgeoning bipartisan appetite for federal Marijuana reform.
A bill called the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2019 is at the Core of the revived reform effort. The measure would require the VA to research the effects of Medicinal cannabis on veterans identified as having chronic pain and PTSD. Introduced in the Home By Rep. Luis Correa, D-Calif., and Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., it’s more than 60 sponsors,
Including five Republicans, also is very similar to one introduced last year which stalled.
The VA hasn’t undertaken any primary research on medical marijuana as a remedy for the involvement of other federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration. It also has in the veterans’ PTSD.
“The restrictions contained in federal law are clear. Some research is allowed but must be Done in conjunction with the aforementioned federal entities,” Susan Carter, director of Media Relations for the VA, said in an emailed statement. “If Congress wants to facilitate more federal
research into Schedule I controlled substances such as marijuana, it can always choose to eliminate these restrictions.”
A few proponents of medicinal marijuana research accuse the VA of hiding behind red tape in a Bid to conceal the things they view being an overall reluctance to study the drug.
Butler, the head of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, claims that the recently released Research bill would provide the VA”top cover” to proceed together with research without fretting About being odds with national issues or the Trump administration.
“We need to understand where it can be best used, applied, where it’s more effective or less effective,” Butler says. “I think this can be done in a very expedited fashion, but it needs that government acceleration, I think, to make it happen.”
At a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, a representative in the VA reiterated the department’s Objection to your bill.
It’s not clear, but if such a step Is Essential for the VA to begin comprehensive research into cannabis or if the bill would effectively compel the department to do so.