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Congressional Lawmakers Demand The VA Study Medical Marijuana

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 30, 2017

    medical_mj_shelfMembers 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.

    Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, along with nine other Democrat members of the Committee, authored an October 26, 2017 letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin stating: “[The] VA is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD given its access to world class researchers, the population it serves, and its history of overseeing and producing research resulting in cutting-edge medical treatments. … VA’s pursuit of research into the impact of medical marijuana on the treatment of veterans diagnosed with PTSD who are also experiencing chronic pain is integral to the advancement of health care for veterans and the nation. We ask VA to respond … with a commitment to the development of VHA-led research into this issue.”

    In September, representatives from The American Legion addressed a separate letter to VA Secretary Shulkin encouraging the VA assist in an ongoing, FDA-approved clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of various strains of cannabis in veterans with PTSD. To date, the VA has refused to assist in patient recruitment for the trial. The VA has yet to publicly respond to the Legion’s letter.

    Survey data finds that military veterans report using cannabis therapeutically at rates far higher than the do those in the general population, and that many are already using it as an alternative to conventional medications in the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress.

    6 Responses to “Congressional Lawmakers Demand The VA Study Medical Marijuana”

    1. Miles says:

      As a USMC Vet I have found that cannabis helps me much more than any Big-Pharma prescription drug that I have tried. Not only does it help greatly, both physically and mentally, I believe it is much safer.

      It really pisses me off that I made the decision to serve my country, risking my life to do so, and yet I could get arrested (here in Virginia and much of America) for smoking a joint.

      Seriously – Good Grief!

      I keep wondering just how much longer this incredible stupidity will continue in our “Land of the Free”. I am thinking it is possible that may never happen as long as the Republicans have control of the Congress considering I read that there is only about 5% support for legalization among them.

    2. Itwillbeoversoonerthanwethink says:

      Why does it always have to be the Dems who fight for all rights?! Of all citizens?!

      If the Democratic party would wholeheartedly support, push legalization they’d stay in power!

      If the GOP accidently backs into legalization the “progressives” are rightfully finished!!

    3. Todd says:

      “To date, the VA has refused to assist in patient recruitment for the trial. The VA has yet to publicly respond to the Legion’s letter.”

      Abridged can mean “refused to assist”. Congress shall make no law …abridging … the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (Amendment 1).

      Compulsory process can mean “to publicly respond”. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right …to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor (Amendment 6).

    4. Julian says:

      Sometimes the most powerful vote we have in the U.S. is what we choose to purchase;

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-constellation-canopy-medicinal-marijuana-20171030-story.html

      With the alcohol industry showing signs of “if you can’t beat’m, join’m” we may be in for a bigger Congressional boost than we expected before the Dec. 8th deadline to renew the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. Even bigger than %51 of Republican voters supporting marijuana legalization. Hell, Senator McCain and his wife own a brewing company.
      I don’t drink fused marijuana beer that often… but when I do… I legalize marijuana…

    5. Michelle Jackson says:

      Cannabis will never be allowed as an alternative to prescription medications as long as big pharmaceutical companies contract to fill the VA prescriptions. Thecompanies lobby against allowing it, and obviously fund many politicians’campaigns along with assuredly under table kick backs. Until the profiteering allowed by elected officials and influence of pharmaceutical companies is stopped things won’t change. Only way it would is if the pharmacy companies had control of marijuana as with prescription medicine, and then it would be so costly those most desperately needing it could not afford it. Big pharmacy companies have literally profiteered off of opiods and pushing addiction with the public, and it is very unlikely this will stop as long as there is no control over their profit of billions of dollars annually. It’s a crying shame, but we know profit over lives is common and will continue to be. Only way is to advocate for term limits and remove career politicians, to be informed how our representatives vote, and be advocates for one another.

    6. Haley Dourron says:

      This is fantastic that members of congress are taking a stand but I believe the general public needs to show their support for the veterans as well. I’m trying to get the word out about a petition I just started to tell the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to allow recruitment efforts from the multidisciplinary association of psychedelic studies for a clinical study of medical marijuana for treatment of PTSD. Currently, the Phoenix VA health care system isn’t allowing them to recruit patients. This is devastating to the studies efforts to recruit participants and may lead to the study’s discontinuation.
      Here’s the petition if anyone is interested: https://www.change.org/p/david-j-shulkin-allow-medical-marijuana-study-for-veterans-with-ptsd-to-recruit-patients-at-the-phoenix-va

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