House Approves Bill Authorizing Cannabis Research for Veterans

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A key congressional committee last week approved a bill that would authorize federal research into the therapeutic applications of cannabis for military veterans. Under the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would be required to conduct clinical trials into the potential of cannabis as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain among the nation’s veterans. The bill was approved by the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Nov. 4 by vote of 18 to 11, receiving support from all the panel’s Democratic members as well as one Republican. The committee approved previous versions of the bill last year and in 2018, but the legislation has yet to be passed by the full Congress and signed into law. “Our veterans are no strangers to confronting challenges, and that’s why Congress needs to explore alternative treatment options,” Rep. Lou Correa, a California Democrat and sponsor of the bill, told Marijuana Moment. “The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2021 meets veterans where they already are and opens a new door for federal policy that supports treatment options preferred by veterans.” “How can we not try to gather the vast resources of Congress and the federal government to explore alternative treatment options like cannabis when veterans themselves are telling us that’s what they need,” Correa added. “To not support this legislation would be to defer once again of our obligation to care for those who have sacrificed so much to help protect our nation.” The VA has acknowledged that PTSD and trauma experienced on the battlefield can contribute to a higher rate of suicidal ideation. Anecdotal evidence shows that cannabis can help ease the symptoms of PTSD, but clinical evidence has so far been inconclusive. In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has advised Congress that…

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Source : House Approves Bill Authorizing Cannabis Research for Veterans

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