Sending Office: Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
Sent By:
Megan.Bland@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

COSPONSOR The Veterans Affairs Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018

Original Cosponsors: Ranking Member Walz (D-MN), Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), and Representative J. Luis Correa (D-CA)

Current Cosponsors: Representatives Takano (D-CA), Brownley (D-CA), Coffman (R-CO), Kuster (D-NH), Peters (D-CA) Blumenauer (D-OR), Gaetz (R-FL) Clay (D-MO), Jones (R-NC), Rohrabacher (R-CA), E.B. Johnson (D-TX), Cohen (D-TN), Young (R-AK),
Raskin (D-MD), McCollum (D-MN), Kihuen (D-NV), Pocan (D-WI), A. Smith (D-WA), Rosen (D-NV), Panetta (D-CA), Polis (D-CO), Vargas (D-CA), Pingree (D-ME), Titus (D-NV)

Supported by:  Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American (IAVA), MedMen, Veterans Cannabis Coalition (VCC), Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP)

Dear Colleagues,

While data is limited, the American Legion, a congressionally-chartered Veteran Service Organization, conducted a

survey
in October 2017 on a portion of its approximately 2.2 million veteran members and found that 92% of all respondents support medical research regarding medicinal cannabis and 82% of all respondents support legalizing medicinal cannabis. The survey
also found that “22 percent of veterans are currently using cannabis to treat a medical condition.” Therefore, it is clear that medical research into the safety and efficacy of cannabis usage for medical purposes is timely, necessary, and widely supported
by the veteran community.

Further, as so many veterans are currently using cannabis for medicinal purposes, it is important that clinicians are able to fully advise veterans on the potential impacts, harms, and benefits of cannabis use on those with various diagnoses including post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain.

The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 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 authorizing 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 2018 is a pragmatic and bipartisan 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.

Bill Summary

The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 would (1) make it clear that VA is authorized to conduct and support research into medicinal cannabis and (2) require VA to report to Congress on how it intends to exercise that authority.

Section by Section

Sec. 1: Short Title.

“VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018”

Sec. 2: Conduct of Research into Effects of Cannabis on Health Outcomes of Certain Veterans

This section would:

  • authorize VA to conduct and support research into the safety and efficacy of veterans usage of cannabis, in various forms and methods of delivery, for medical purposes.
  • require VA to preserve all data collected or used for the purposes of conducting research related to medicinal cannabis.
  • require VA to report to Congress 180 days following enactment of this Act with a plan for implementation, and to report to Congress on the progress of research into medicinal cannabis no less than annually for the five years following enactment.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Please contact Megan Bland at
megan.bland@mail.house.gov or at (202) 225-9756 with any questions or to cosponsor this legislation.

Sincerely,

 

Tim Walz

Ranking Member, Committee on Veterans Affairs

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, HealthCare, Veterans

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: XXXX
Special Note:

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