lab worker wth marijuana

New bill supports medical marijuana research for vets

House lawmakers this week advanced a bill that would push the Department of Veterans Affairs to do more research into the safety and effectiveness of medical marijuana.

The bill—the Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018—introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-Minn.) and Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), passed the committee May 8.

It directs the VA to perform medical research on the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

According to a 2017 American Legion survey, 92 percent of veterans support research into the efficacy of medical cannabis for mental and physical conditions and 82 percent want to have medical cannabis as a federally-legal treatment option.

“Today’s vote moves us one step closer to giving our veterans an alternative and getting our warriors the relief they deserve,” Correa said in a statement applauding the advancement of the legislation. “For veterans throughout my district, cannabis is an invaluable medicine for managing their pain,” she continued, adding, “I am honored to see such support in finally taking action to help veterans in need of medical cannabis.”

As part of the bill, the VA must also provide Congress with a report on how they plan to conduct the research. Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which are defined as not having a medical use, federal research is highly restricted.

As of introduction, the legislation was co-sponsored by 28 Democrats and 7 Republicans.

Reader comments

Tue, May 15, 2018

In reply to why spend tax dollars: The VA has specific and deeper access to veterans than any other national entity ... So the best data and the most meaningful conclusions about the needs of vets can come from deep research into what works for them. VA is appropriate. Tax dollar use is appropriate.

Tue, May 15, 2018

Anything to help our vets helps our nation. The hemp plant has some great potential chemical components that could replace opioids for pain management with out the addiction potential and further research will identify components of the plant that can reduce PSTD and other neurological conditions. Unfortunately big pharma rather push antipsychotic agents and opioids as being better, safer and of course approved by the medical establishment (big pharma reps that pay off the docs etc).

Thu, May 10, 2018

Why spend tax dollars and require the VA to conduct another research? There are numerous ongoing research projects.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

Free E-Newsletter

FederalDAILY

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question