Many veterans believe that plant-based medicines are a much better option for treatment in comparison with opioids, which are easily addictive. However, most are having trouble accessing medical cannabis, even in states where medical use of the herb is legal. Currently, 36 states in the country have established medical marijuana programs while 18 states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis; in addition Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia have legalized the substance. Despite the existence of these programs, physicians at VA Medical Centers aren’t allowed to prescribe this plant-based medicine. This comes at a time when bipartisan measures to change this haven’t been advanced in Congress, including a measure that was introduced by Senator Tim Kaine. Senator Kaine plans to change this prohibition by broadening eligibility in VA hospitals. This legislation would also direct the Veterans Administration to study how marijuana could decrease opioid abuse and assist veterans in managing chronic pain, as well as establish a temporary safe harbor protection for veterans who use medical cannabis. Similar initiatives have been introduced in Congress in the last couple of weeks. However, VA leadership recently declined to expand eligibility in hospitals because of the current federal prohibition on cannabis.

CannabisNewsWire, 11/23/2021 04:20:00

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