Veterans Groups Want Marijuana And Psychedelics Access Through VA, They Tell Congress

MJ moment

Leaders of military veterans organizations sent a clear message to congressional lawmakers this week: federal marijuana and psychedelics laws are outdated and should be reformed to give service members alternative treatment options for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. During joint hearings before House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on Wednesday and Thursday, three veterans service organizations (VSOs) submitted written testimony backing a policy change to expand access to or increase research on medical cannabis, and one argued in favor of loosening restrictions to enable veterans to utilize psychedelics in their mental health treatment. Cannabis’s medical potential and the way that federal policy impedes research was also raised during one of the hearings by a freshman Republican member of Congress. “The epidemic of substance use disorder and other mental health crises among veterans demonstrates the need for innovative therapies that extend beyond traditional psychopharmacological interventions,” Minority Veterans of America (MVA) said in its written testimony. “As such, we believe it is necessary to include cannabis and psychedelics in the [Veterans Health Administration’s] psychopharmacological repertoire.” “Research into cannabis demonstrates its effectiveness in treating PTSD and SUDs in veteran populations (although more research is needed), as well as reducing the use of opioids and opioid-related deaths,” the group continued. “Additionally, research into psychedelics has demonstrated its efficacy to treat both substance use disorders and for post-traumatic stress disorder.” MVA said that while the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is allowing ketamine-based therapy for severe depression on a case-by-case basis, studies have demonstrated that other psychedelics have shown promise in the treatment of conditions that commonly afflict veterans and lawmakers should “consider allowing psychedelics and cannabis to be included in the psychopharmacological repertoire.” “Additionally, we would urge the Committees to support and remove existing governmental impediments to cannabis and psychedelic research and therapies within…

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Source : Veterans Groups Want Marijuana And Psychedelics Access Through VA, They Tell Congress

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