“Currently, VA healthcare providers, however, are prohibited from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a state-legal medical cannabis recommendation, forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. Seeking care is hard enough, and we should not make it even harder for our veterans.” – Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Military veterans who participate in a state’s medical marijuana access program frequently report substituting cannabis for alcohol and other controlled substances, according to data published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Nearly half of all respondents said that they use medical cannabis in place of other prescription medications.
Seventy-five percent of military veterans say that they would consider using either “cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option,” according to member survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
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.
Members of the US House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs are demanding the Department of Veterans Affairs facilitate protocols to assess the efficacy of medical cannabis in veterans suffering from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress.
For more than a year, The American Legion has been calling on the federal government – and specifically the Veterans Affairs Department – to support research into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in treating veterans with PTSD. Now, the Legion is ramping up their efforts to convince VA Secretary Shulkin to expand research into the therapeutic and medicinal effects of cannabis.
More than two in three military veterans say that medical cannabis should be legal, and 75 percent believe that VA physicians should be able to recommend marijuana therapy to eligible patients, according to the results of the 7th annual membership survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA).