Democratic lawmakers have introduced joint legislation into Congress to let military veterans to possess, transport, and use medicinal cannabis in legal states and go over it with their physicians at the Division of Veterans Affairs (VA).
On Wednesday, Senator Brian Schatz [D-HI] introduced S445 and Representative Barbara Lee [D-CA] introduced HR1151. Senator Tim Kane [D-VA] is listed as a co-sponsor on S445
According to a study released by the University of Michigan in August of 2018, the prices of previous year cannabis use by veterans in 2014 had been comparable to, or reduced than these of non-veterans at about 9 %. But of these with previous year use, the proportion applying medicinal marijuana was much more than twice that of the basic population at a price of roughly 41 %.
NORML says that healthcare cannabis use would probably be much more widespread amongst veterans if VA physicians had been not federally-barred from recommending it.
“In 33 states, medical doctors and their sufferers have the solution to use healthcare marijuana to handle pain—unless these medical doctors operate for the VA and their sufferers are veterans,” stated Schatz in a statement. “This bill offers VA medical doctors in these states the solution to prescribe healthcare marijuana to veterans, and it also promises to shed light on how healthcare marijuana can support with the nation’s opioid epidemic.”
A study published in March of 2018 showed that the enactment of healthcare cannabis laws correlates with a reduction in the each day doses filled for opioid analgesics amongst Medicare and Medicaid enrollees and a drop in opioid-overdose deaths nationwide.
In January, lawmakers introduced joint legislation that would direct the VA to start conducting healthcare cannabis study.