WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), David Joyce (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Don Young (R-AK) today urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to allow access to medical cannabis for VA patients as quickly as possible.
The push comes amid growing frustration within the veteran community, which has been fighting for the change to help address opioid addiction and manage PTSD and other health issues, including multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.
“Research has shown that cannabis can be safe and effective in targeted pain-management. Additionally, cannabis has proven benefits in managing PTSD and other health issues, including multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders. Despite its efficacy, antiquated bureaucratic red-tape continues to deny veterans these life-altering treatments,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Congress and several administrations have enacted various well-intentioned intervention attempts, however, over 20 veterans continue to die by suicide each day—it is past time we stop barring access from these innovative therapies. We therefore respectfully urge you to ensure no veteran can be denied medically prescribed cannabis treatments.”
“America’s veterans have risked life and limb to preserve our freedoms, so we must not allow the unnecessary politicization of medical cannabis to hinder their lifesaving therapies. We stand ready to work with you and your administration in advancing these necessary treatments,” they continued.