Health and Fitness, Military

Federal Legislation Introduced To Facilitate Medical Marijuana Trials For Military Veterans

Veterans for marijuana
Army veteran and triple-amputee Jose Martinez of Los Angeles, center, and other veterans and supporters of medical marijuana march to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the White House to bring awareness to the need to legalize medical marijuana. (Source: Washington Post)
Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—April 27, 2018
By: Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director

United States Rep. Timothy Waltz (D-MN), along with 39 bipartisan co-sponsors, has introduced legislation, HR 5520 The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018, to facilitate federally-sponsored clinical research on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among veterans.

The legislation explicitly authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs “to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis,” particularly among those patients diagnosed with chronic pain and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to nationwide survey data compiled by The American Legion, 39 percent of respondents affirmed that they “know a veteran” who is using the plant medicinally. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they themselves “use cannabis to treat a mental or physical condition.” Nonetheless, former VA Secretary David Shulkin had consistently rejected calls from advocacy groups and lawmakers to study the use of cannabis among military veterans.