Veterans have been denied access to cannabis and other plant medicines for far too long. However, the long wait may be over.
Now, more than 20 Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) have come together to call on Congress and congressional leaders to address medical marijuana research through the encouraged passing of a veterans research bill before the end of the current Congress.
A Desire To Treat The Wounds Acquired Through Service
News reports stated, “For decades, many veterans have called for medicinal cannabis as an option for treating the unseen wounds of war and other injuries sustained through service.”
Military veterans and their caregivers have, over time, clearly communicated their positive anecdotal experiences and have expressed how cannabis is an effective treatment in healing pressing health concerns.
In order to bring regular access to and permittance of this treatment, further scientific research needs to be conducted. Research is also needed to substantiate veterans’ beliefs in the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain, PTSD, and Traumatic Brain Injuries.
The Purpose Of The Bill And VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act
Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) and AMVETS are pushing lawmakers to take up the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act. This act requires the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to perform clinical trials and testing of cannabis’ therapeutic potential.
Currently, the act is sponsored by House Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI).
As a Schedule 1 drug, research has been stagnant and hindered by red tape and bureaucratic hurdles. Cannabis treatment is also still considered not part of “standard care” for veterans.
Yet to Become Enacted Into Law
Whether the Bill will be passed is not yet known; however, hopes are high since Bill sponsor Correa’s conversations with VA Secretary Denis McDonough and his cannabis reform advocacy and the emergence of a congressional caucus.
Hopes are further boosted with the release of a large-scale defence spending bill following bicameral negotiations. In addition, US President Joe Biden has placed hopes higher with the recent signing of a broader marijuana research bill which will streamline the research process.
Currently, VA officials are keeping a close eye on the research. More updates to follow as more news is released.
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