Cannabis and its attributes have shown many advances throughout the past several years of research. From slowing the growth of cancer cells to drastically reducing the amount of seizures in an individual, there is no doubt that cannabis has a large amount of potential when it comes to treating diseases.
The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee recently approved a new bill that would increase the amount of funding for research done by the Department of Veterans Affairs on medical marijuana. This funding would help to find new treatments and cures for diseases that affect veterans in higher numbers than others. The measure would also specifically help to research the effect of cannabis on those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
The VA panel also voted on a number of other measures including giving better access to doctors for veterans in need. The measures would also help to deal with some of the costs associated with treating these diseases. The lawmakers have stated that they would like to put all of these measures into one bill that would effectively go into law as soon as Memorial Day of this year. One of the exciting pieces of news to hit this market has been that the Former VA Secretary David Shulkin stating his support for more research into the sector of using cannabis to treat different diseases affecting veterans.
One of the main issues with this new legislation is the fact that the VA is currently not allowed to prescribe or give advice with anything having to do with cannabis or its derivatives. This has meant that veterans have to go around the VA to find their own treatment. This can lead to confusion as to dosing or what to buy, and the issue of funding the treatment as well. In recent news, Shulkin was fired by President Trump as part of the ongoing removal of Obama-era consultants. In his replacement, Trump hired Adm. Ronny Jackson who was quickly removed from the nomination after a series of workplace misconduct allegations. This has left the position open, which on one hand has made it difficult to put new legislation in, and on the other hand, helped to make it easier to pass legislation.
The issue with this is that cannabis is still considered a Schedule I narcotic as far as the federal government is concerned. This means that cannabis has a high level of addiction and no known uses for medicinal purposes. The scheduling of cannabis has remained extremely difficult to overcome when looking to pass legislation in this area. This has remained the main cause behind the aforementioned issues with the VA consulting patients on cannabis. Because the Veterans Administration is a federal office, they are not allowed to operate outside of federal laws.
One of the most promising uses of cannabis for treating these illnesses is the component known as CBD. CBD or cannabidiol has a large amount of medicinal properties that has meant it has become the drug of choice for healing different ailments. the hopes are that more research will be able to be done in this sector to ensure that veterans are getting the treatment they need. With rates of PTSD and other ailments reaching all time highs in veterans, it seems like it is about time to fix the legislation that is standing between them and the treatment they need. The hopes are high that in the near future, the new laws will allow veterans to have access to marijuana as a way to treat their conditions now and in the future.