Lawmakers Advance Plan To Increase Medical Marijuana Research For Veterans

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The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved a measure to increase the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research on medical marijuana.

The measure, which could come to a vote before the summer, would clarify the agency’s ability to research medical marijuana as a possible treatment for conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The House VA panel also voted to advance a series of other measures, including giving veterans more access to private-sector donors and expanding caregiver stipends for military families, according to Military Times.

Lawmakers hope that the package can become law by Memorial Day.

The medical marijuana bill, which received unanimous support, also requires the VA to regularly report on the research to Congress.

Former VA Secretary David Shulkin said last year that he was open to expanding the use of medical marijuana to treat PTSD.

The VA is currently blocked from prescribing medical marijuana under federal law.

President Trump has since fired Shulkin, an Obama-era holdover. Trump’s choice to replace him, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, withdrew his nomination after a series of allegations of workplace misconduct.