‘We should see if it works’: Lawmakers want Veterans Affairs to study whether pot is safer than painkillers

A bipartisan measure introduced this week in the House would authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to research whether marijuana is a viable substitute for highly addictive opioids in treating former military personnel suffering from post-
traumatic stress and chronic pain.

VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 would authorize VA to advance such research in a five-year study to examine the drug’s safety and efficacy, and require VA researchers to compile annual status reports for Congress. The bill was introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), the ranking minority-party member of the committee, along with 35 co-sponsors — including seven Republicans. Companion legislation is under review by leaders of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

“As a physician, I’m keenly aware of the need to look for opioid alternatives to treat patients’ chronic pain,” Roe said in a statement. “I’ve

... read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/we-should-see-if-it-works-lawmakers-want-veteran-affairs-to-study-whether-pot-is-safer-than-painkillers/2018/04/18/6183ade2-4321-11e8-bba2-0976a82b05a2_story.html