Millions of American military veterans—more than 1 in 5, according to an American Legion survey—use marijuana to treat a medical ailment.
But many of those veterans say the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides health care to former service members, isn’t responsive to their needs. Citing the federal prohibition on cannabis, the VA has long said its doctors cannot legally issue recommendations for marijuana, even in states that have medical marijuana programs—an assertion disputed by some advocates and lawyers. It has also largely refused to conduct studies on the potential efficacy of the drug as a treatment for PTSD and other disorders common among vets, instead focusing its research on the harms of using cannabis.
Now, new legislation could change that.
Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and former Marine Corps officer, announced Wednesday that he has partnered with Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida to introduce a trio of bills that would nudge the VA to better integrate cannabis into the treatment it provides veterans.
Top Image: © Africa Studio | Adobe Stock