A renewed push to offer military vets natural health treatments is gaining favor in Congress
All the post-trauma that military veterans have to endure has been the target of many studies in the past, but even though the use of marijuana has been widespread, more clinical research is necessary to better understand the benefits for veterans. This is what a couple of lawmakers are seeking to accomplish and are now asking a few other House members to be cosponsors of a bill to promote therapeutic marijuana research for veterans. Representatives Lou Correa and Clay Higgins are the two legislators behind this bill, the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, and they presented a survey result from the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), in which 83% of its members support medical marijuana legalization.
“[Medical] research into the safety and efficacy of cannabis usage for medical purposes is timely, necessary, and widely supported by the veteran community,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter last Wednesday. This proposed bill, currently with 102 sponsors, would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to perform double-blind clinical trials studying the safety as well as the effectiveness of various forms of marijuana. The focus of the investigation will tackle the mental health condition that is more present in war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as treatment for chronic pain.
“Congress made great progress in reforming our cannabis laws in 2019, proving that Americans are ready for change. Veterans deserve to be a part of this change and have their medical needs taken seriously by the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Correa told Marijuana Moment. “My bill puts veterans’ health front and center. With over 100 bipartisan co-sponsors, it’s time to move the Medicinal Cannabis Research Act and take care of our vets.”