Calls for the VA to allow veterans access to medical marijuana may increase after David Shulkin’s recent comments.
For decades, soldiers returning from combat have claimed that marijuana has helped them cope with the debilitating symptoms related to PTSD. Unfortunately, since there is not a great deal of sanctioned research on marijuana and PTSD, veterans simply have their own testimony to rely on.
Since marijuana is a federally banned Schedule I substance, there has been little movement on the issue. The VA, a federal institution, is unable to provide marijuana to soldiers. But is that going to soon change?
Perhaps VA Secretary David Shulkin took some time to reflect on the issue earlier this week on Memorial Day (or maybe he read our Memorial Day article on helping Veterans). The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin to review whether or not marijuana can be useful for veterans receiving treatment at the VA.
“There may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful, and we’re interested in looking at that,” Shulkin said of medical marijuana according to the Washington Examiner. “And we’re interested in looking at that and learning from that. But until time that federal law changes, we are not able to be able to prescribe, you know, medical marijuana for conditions that – may be helpful.”
Right now, the statement may just be symbolic but could drive momentum for reform. The vast majority of Americans support medical marijuana.
This is at odds with the Trump administration and particularly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The AG has signaled a desire to double down on the failed drug war and seems to dismiss the idea that marijuana has medicinal value.
Could this be the beginning of a federal feud?