A bipartisan group of lawmakers prods the VA to approve medical marijuana for vets

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is feeling pressure to change cannabis policies

In a new letter, a bipartisan coalition of congressional lawmakers made it clear that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is under an urgent duty to implement a policy change. The lawmakers want the VA to stop being a roadblock for military veterans every time they want to access cannabis for medical use. Cannabis has proven to be a plant capable of mitigating many problems that this specific population tends to suffer from, especially when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It appears that the letter was specifically addressed to Denis McDonough, the VA Secretary, where the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus urged the official to give more importance to the issue and to consider “a change in policy to allow access to medical cannabis from VA patients” and to “act swiftly and implement this change as soon as possible.”

In an effort to back up their judgment, the lawmakers brought up the various surveys that have made it clear that the veteran community currently suffers from high rates of opioid addiction and PTSD. “Research has shown that cannabis can be safe and effective in targeted pain-management. Additionally, cannabis has proven benefits in managing PTSD and other health issues, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and seizure disorders,” the letter states. “Despite its efficacy, antiquated bureaucratic red-tape continues to deny veterans these life-altering treatments.”

The letter comes on the heels of McDonough being part of a Veterans Day Q&A session where he said the agency is looking at the possibility of making several internal policy changes, conversations in which the Department of Justice and the White House have also been included.