“An amendment to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make cannabis available to veterans who need it was recently approved by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee on a 24-to-7 vote. The department would be prohibited from interfering with a veteran’s ability to obtain medical marijuana, and from blocking health care providers from giving pot to veterans in states where it’s legal, according to language attached to a military appropriations bill.
Last year, language very similar to the latest amendment made it through the House and Senate but was stripped in a last-minute move by Republican leaders in the House Appropriations Committee.
[The bill was rejected by the House in 2015.]
This time around, there seems to be more hope for the legislation.
But support from key Republicans, including the administration, which could veto the bill or exert pressure to strip the language again, is up in the air.
The VA itself has long opposed medical cannabis for those who have volunteered to risk all for country. It calls medical pot use among vets ‘a growing concern.’ ‘There is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD,” according to a VA fact sheet’.”
After years of seeking FDA and DEA approval, a large scale study of medical cannabis for PTSD is finally, underway. As reported here (http://ift.tt/1NT3fTj), the study is based partially on the observation that people with PTSD have lower levels of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid compound.
In other words, one pillar of PTSD is seen as an endocannabinoid deficiency: the body stops producing enough endocannabinoids, and this is where cannabis is seen as playing a therapeutic role. By replenishing these missing endocannabinoids with those found in cannabis, researchers think marijuana pharmaceuticals might bring PTSD patients relief from their memories.
In the meantime, many people with PTSD – veterans and others, e.g., victims of sexual assault and others – use cannabis to cope with anxiety that accompanies the disorder. Ironically, while many report that cannabis helps them function better in society, in states where PTSD is not an approved condition per se, these people are sometimes labeled as suffering from cannabis use disorder rather than being seen as self-medicating for their actual underlying PTSD disorder.
#MMJ #Veterans #VA #PTSD #USpol #UTpol
See full article – Law Would Force Feds to Let Veterans Get Medical Marijuana