Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs introduced legislation to direct VA to research medicinal cannabis, H.R. 747.
One of the most critical duties of Congress is ensuring that we provide the proper services and support for veterans with service-related disabilities,”said Roe. “While data remains limited, surveys have shown that some veterans already use medicinal cannabis as a means to help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among other things. As a doctor myself, I am a firm believer in the importance of medical research to assure that a treatment is safe and effective. I would never prescribe to my patients a substance unless I was confident in its proven efficacy and safety, and we need to hold medicinal cannabis to the same standards as we would any other medical prescription. It is imperative that clinicians have data on utilizing cannabis as a treatment option so that they can properly advise their patients on potential side-effects. If research on the usage of medical cannabis is favorable, I am confident that it could become another option to help improve the lives of veterans and other Americans."
H.R. 747 would promote medical research into the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis usage on veterans diagnosed with PTSD, chronic pain and other illnesses and injuries by (1) specifically requiring VA to conduct and support research regarding medicinal cannabis and (2) requiring VA to report to Congress on how it intends to exercise that authority. The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2019 is a pragmatic piece of legislation that would advance our understanding of the impacts of medicinal marijuana usage and could improve the lives of veterans and other Americans. For more information on the bill click here.