Veterans have been fighting for the right to use medical marijuana for years – and the VA has continuously maintained that as long as it was federally illegal, it was not an option for treatment. However, this may change as House lawmakers appear likely to pass a bill that would encourage the Department of Veterans Affairs to research the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana. On Tuesday, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs voted unanimously to advance the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act to the House floor for a final vote.
“I am not opposed to using marijuana extracts, following the appropriate medical research, as an alternative to indiscriminately prescribing opioids to our veterans to deal with chronic pain,” Colorado U.S. Representative Mike Coffman told Colorado Politics. “I have long fought the VA for being too ‘drug-centric’ in their modality of treatment for combat-related stress disorders because it only masks the symptoms as opposed to addressing the underlying problems.”