The House Committee on Veterans' Affairs voted unanimously to advance the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act to the House floor -- a bipartisan attempt to encourage the VA to study the drug as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and other ailments that disproportionately affect veterans. The bill stops short of mandating the VA research marijuana but makes clear that the VA can study it. It also requires the agency to report back to Congress about its progress.Read More
We are working toward a future where veterans have equal access to cannabis, regardless of their zip code, and the Department of Veteran Affairs is a leader in funding, researching, and developing non-synthetic cannabis medications. To do this, we must remove the legal barriers to research and the reprehensible criminalization and stigmatization of those who use cannabis.Read More
The panel covered issues around employment, research, and advocacy.Read More
Leading advocates gather to discuss the path forward for cannabis research and veteran access.Read More
President Trump has promised a top Senate Republican that he will support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized marijuana — defusing a months-long standoff between Sen. Cory Gardner and the administration over Justice Department nominees.Read More
We are in a political moment where Congress and the White House can do right thing by veterans and by patients across the country. Reschedule cannabis, research it, regulate it and make it accessible — this is the message we are carrying in the halls of the capitol and to the American people. We must come together to make the compassionate, common-sense choice to end cannabis prohibition now.Read More
“There were policies in place at the VA that, had they been followed, provided Corporal Draughon with a chance, and with more than a chance, with appropriate care that he should have received."Read More
"The military has increasingly acknowledged in recent years that there are tens of thousands of Corporal Mankers — troops whose brutal experiences left them with post-traumatic stress disorder, and who were then pushed out of the military for misconduct. Many were given other-than-honorable discharges that stripped them of veterans’ benefits."Read More
The VA's opioid crisis echoes the nationwide pattern of suspect partnerships between painkiller companies and medical professionals. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, donated $200,000 to the VA pain management team in 2001, and concerns about opioid addiction were labeled as "barriers" to appropriate care in 2003 by the VA. These 2003 guidelines called opioids "the most effective option" for many patients, and they "only rarely cause addiction."Read More
"For both, cannabis has allowed them to return to normal functioning and inspired them to fight for access for all of their brothers- and sisters-in-arms who could profoundly benefit."Read More
On Wednesday, he came from Florida to Manhattan federal court, where he and five other plaintiffs have filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Agency to make it easier for veterans to obtain medical cannabis.
“As we speak this morning, there’s a veteran somewhere in America that’s committed suicide. We lose a veteran every 90 minutes or so somewhere in this country… Jeff Sessions, look into your heart,” Belen said in front of the courthouse to a crowd of supporters shortly before a hearing on the case.
“Wherever you are, look at us. We’re not misfits, we’re not stoners. We’re citizens of this country. This is the very fabric of America, we will not be held down anymore.”Read More
" In its 98-page complaint, the suit presents its case for legalization not only through a host of constitutional arguments, but also by way of a world-historical tour of marijuana use — from its first purported role 10,000 years ago in the production of Taiwanese pottery to the smoking habits of President Barack Obama in his younger days. It points out that the ancient Egyptians used the drug to treat eye sores and hemorrhoids, and Thomas Jefferson puffed it for his migraines. James Madison credited “sweet hemp” for giving him “insight to create a new and democratic nation,” the suit notes."Read More
" According to the report, Netanyahu announced putting the ambitious export project on hold in a meeting on Sunday with the ministers of agriculture, health and finance.
Before the ministry representatives could present their arguments, Netanyahu said Trump had called him and made clear his general attitude against marijuana exports, the report said.
Netanyahu told the ministers that it would not be wise to be the vanguard in this field, noting that Canada is the only country that has authorized the export of cannabis."
"The VA is saying, 'We don't even want to investigate whether medical marijuana is valid," said Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), another member of the House committee. "But veterans continue to suffer in large numbers and we should be exploring all the possible alternatives out there."Read More
"...veterans service organizations, politicians on both sides of the aisle, health advocates, pro-marijuana groups, and newspaper editorial boards in both red and blue states are expressing deep frustration with this administration’s hard line on medical marijuana for veterans."Read More
“I have heard the stories of veterans who have used cannabis medicinally to help them cope with physical and psychological injuries of war," “I have heard the stories of veterans who have used cannabis medicinally to help them cope with physical and psychological injuries of war," said Rep. Walz, highest ranking listed servicemember ever to serve in Congress. “Not only have I heard these stories, but I know Secretary Shulkin, who still practices medicine at VA, has heard them as well. That is why I found VA's response to my October 26 letter so disappointing and unacceptable.”Read More
" There are seven major problems with Shulkin’s response to the Democratic members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Those problems range from a mischaracterization of federal law to a faulty analysis of current medical research to a failure to put medical findings in context and more. The shortcomings in the secretary’s response should alarm Democrats and Republicans; House members and Senators; soldiers, veterans, and civilians alike."Read More
The present report aims to analyze the most common perceptions and fears, contrast them with available evidence on drugs and the people who use them, and provides recommendations on changes that must be enacted to support reforms toward more effective drug policies.Read More
" People who don't consume cannabis have a fundamental misunderstanding about what it does to somebody who consumes it."Read More