Last week, two bills were introduced that aim to expand the VA’s ability to conduct extensive research on marijuana and its efficacy for veterans dealing with varying health conditions due to their service. The legislation introduced by Representatives Lou Correa and Clay Higgins is already gaining support.
This bill would allow a clinical trial to take place regarding marijuana and health outcomes of specific medical conditions, Military Times reports. A couple of those conditions would be PTSD and chronic pain – two of the most common issues challenging veterans and active military members.
Rep. Correa said, “The department has had the authority to do this research for a long time and has continually avoided it. Our legislation denies them the opportunity to push the buck any longer.”
A survey conducted by Iran and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) found that 63% of the members support medical marijuana.
Tom Porter from IAVA, said, “Our members have spoken loud and clear on this issue. In our latest member survey, 63 percent supported and only 15 percent opposed legalization for the medical use of cannabis. This bill takes a giant and necessary step forward to determine the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis.”
“With the opioid crisis raging across America, it is imperative to the health and safety of our veterans that we find alternative treatments for chronic pain and service-related injuries. It’s time the VA did a formal study,” Rep. Correa stated.
The debate is expected to begin in the next few weeks within the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee regarding both pieces of legislation.