employment November 4The House Veterans Affairs Committee has passed a bill that would allow the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study medicinal cannabis as a treatment option for military veterans.
Sponsored by Representative Lu Correa and Peter Meijer, HR-2916, also called The VA Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2021, directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis research. “This act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct clinical trials of the effects of medicinal cannabis on health outcomes for veterans diagnosed with chronic pain and those diagnosed with PTSD. Veterans covered are those who are enrolled in the VA health care system.” Invoice Summary is reading.
The bill also states that trials should include both a control group and an experimental group that include a balanced representation of the veteran community (same size, structure, and demographics). Most importantly, any veteran who chooses to participate in these trials will not have to worry about VA benefits or eligibility.
At the November 4th meetingPresident Mark Takano briefly spoke about HR-2916. Veterans and veteran service organizations have told us that they overwhelmingly support medical cannabis research in Virginia. Lots of veterans are already using cannabis to ease their suffering. Veterans can purchase medical cannabis in 36 states and recreational cannabis in 19 states.”
Takano continued, “We should simply provide the VA and its health care providers with scientific guidance on the potential effects, benefits and/or dangers of using cannabis to treat chronic pain and PTSD. Now the VA tells us that it is monitoring smaller research projects on cannabis outside of Virginia.” This really isn’t enough. The bill directs the VA to bring important methodological rigor with the clinical trial framework to bear on these important questions. We owe it to our veterans no less.”
Rep. Marianette Miller Mix proposed an amendment at the meeting in response. She proposed replacing HR-2916 with her own bill, HR-2932, which she calls Veterans Analysis and Effectiveness Research for Cannabis, or Veterans Care Act. Although she admits that her bill and Korea’s bill share some goals, she believes Bill Korea isn’t the ideal way to help. ancient warrior. “…his bill began an overly compulsive approach to requiring the VA to conduct research on medical marijuana.” I’m sure he was well-intentioned. However, what that can do is unfairly tie the hands of the victim assistance researchers responsible for designing and conduct these studies and undermine their work to the point that it makes no sense.”
“This is why my amendment, in the nature of an alternative, would replace the text of Congressman Korea’s bill, with the text of my bill that would also require the VA to conduct research on medical marijuana but also give researchers in Virginia the flexibility to design that research for themselves,” Follow Miller Mix. “This will help ensure that politics plays no role in the results of this research and that scientists and researchers, not politicians, are familiar with the VA’s work in medical marijuana research so that it yields the best and most beneficial research results for veterans.”
“Unfortunately, I cannot support my amendment that would give Virginia much more room in deciding how to study the potential use of cannabis and the treatment of pain, PTSD, and veterans,” Takano said. “With all due respect, VA could be doing this level of research now and simply chose not to. VA’s Office of Research and Development could handle a clinical trial perfectly. It is already running many of them. And it is time to give scientific weight to this gold standard approach. on the issue of cannabis use.”
There was ongoing debate about Miller’s Meek Bill by ratings member Mike Post, but in the end the committee did not approve its bill. However, the Committee approved Recommendation HR-2916 to the House of Representatives for further consideration.