Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Facilitate Medical Cannabis Trials For Veterans

United States Rep. Timothy Waltz (D-MN), along with over 30 bipartisan co-sponsors, has introduced legislation, HR 5520: The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018, to facilitate federally-sponsored clinical research into the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among veterans.

The legislation states: “In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, … the Secretary may conduct and support research relating to the efficacy and safety of forms of cannabis … on the health outcomes of covered veterans diagnosed with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions the Secretary determines appropriate.”

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.” Yet, VA Secretary David Shulkin has consistently rejected calls from veterans groups and lawmakers to study the use of cannabis among military veterans.

Passage of HR 5520 explicitly authorizes “the Secretary to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis.”

Representative Walz, who is the ranking member of the House VA committee, said: “While we know cannabis can have life-saving effects on veterans suffering from chronic pain or PTSD, there has been a severe lack of research studying the full effect of medicinal cannabis on these veterans. Simply put, there is no department or organization better suited to conduct this critically important research than VA, and there will never be a better time to act.”

Please click here to urge your federal lawmakers to support HR 5520: The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.

9 thoughts

  1. Sorry, I cannot support this HR5520. The Federal Government needs to read the other research that is available on the National MS Society, Researchers and the American Cancer Society and many other researchers nationally and internationally for results. I don’t think the taxpayers’ money should be wasted on research and conclusion has already been published. Let’s accept it and legalize it already.

    1. I’m a 40% disabled veteran. Your answer maddens and disgusts me as someone who was stuck using opiates for pain mgmt for over a dozen years. Start with chronic pain, seizures, Chrohns and terminal conditions and work outward. We’re sick of waiting for something that cannot kill us for pain relief. At least afford us trial access while we’re waiting on a totally broken Congress and if this gives us legal Federal access sooner than by all means do it

    2. Judith,
      While I agree the studies are now longitudinal showing marijuana’s medical efficacy for a wide range of pain management, neurological disorders, gateway out of addiction, and the list goes on, this is one of those deals where we don’t allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good.

      If Pete Sessions won’t even let this bill through the Rules Committee, if enough Republicans won’t cosign or support this then they make it clear that they don’t support our veterans, our freedom or America. This is the lowest hurdle they can jump. We have to point it out when they won’t even jump for our veterans.

  2. I’ve been sending letters to the white house for months bitching about veterans not having access to cannabis nationwide without losing their benefits or medical care..

    I’ve written to the white house at least 50 times in the last 4 months about this.

  3. After all the hard work and dedication put in research all i hear is research and more research I can’t believe were still having this conversation it about time the democrats and republicans get together and let the vast amount of Americans in support of cannabis be heard.

  4. These people have said it all!!! I’m a veteran with a lot of pain, continues pain a I hate taking all these pain meds that are doing damage to my liver!!! Please pass it already!!!! We need a break from all this pain!!!!

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