Despite Adult-Use Legalization, Veterans Are Awaiting Medical Cannabis

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The percentage of military veterans facing challenges from PTSD is staggering — and research shows that medical marijuana can provide relief to people struggling with the illness. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs remains intransigent on allowing veterans access to cannabis within its medical system, and legislators haven’t taken action to override those stubborn officials. Currently, VA healthcare providers are prohibited from recommending that their patients use cannabis or helping their patients obtain cannabis treatments. The website of the VA’s National Center for PTSD actually states that “there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD. In fact, research suggests that marijuana can be harmful to individuals with PTSD.” In contrast, the Israeli Health Ministry approved the use of cannabis to treat PTSD way back in 2015. Meanwhile, in the United States, there has been little progress on efforts in Congress to remedy the situation. Legislative Efforts for Veteran Access to Cannabis Stalled Over the past few years, a few federal lawmakers have proposed a slate of bills that would allow veterans to access cannabis, but they’ve all struggled to see any movement toward becoming law. A prominent bill to at least allow VA doctors to recommend cannabis, the Veterans Equal Access Act, was reintroduced last March after failing to pass in 2018. The bill was sponsored, once again, by Congressional Cannabis Caucus founder Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon. But the following month, VA officials told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency is opposed to the bill and related legislative efforts to expand access to medical marijuana for veterans. The other bills concerning cannabis and veterans currently before Congress include the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, introduced by Rep. Lou Correa — which directs the VA to carry out a clinical trial of the impacts of cannabis on chronic pain and…

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Source : Despite Adult-Use Legalization, Veterans Are Awaiting Medical Cannabis

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