The American Legion – one of the nation’s largest and most conservative veterans’ groups – is lobbying the Trump administration to reclassify cannabis. Currently, under existing guidelines, physicians with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are instructed to refrain from even discussing the effectiveness of medical marijuana.
Sure to upset the likes of A.G. Jeff Sessions, the American Legion recently sent a letter to Pres. Trump asking the administration to reschedule marijuana. The Legion is asking that the plant be rescheduled in order to allow research to establish the plant’s potential medicinal value for treating America’s veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The Legion’s message was simple and concise, “clear the way for clinical research in the cutting-edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research.” The group is not asking for marijuana “to be legalized,” rather, they want to reschedule the plant so that it can be legally studied. According to Politico,
“There is overwhelming evidence that it has been beneficial for some vets. The difference is that it is not founded in federal research because it has been illegal.”
First broaching the topic with the Trump transition team during a December 2016 meeting, “the American Legion initiated a call-to-action” in support of research on medical marijuana and the DEA’s reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I narcotic to Schedule III.
Ready to battle over failed policy, the American Legion is seeking a meeting with Trump’s son-in-law and right-hand man, Jared Kushner. “The request marks a significant turn in the debate over medical marijuana by lending an influential and unexpected voice. The Legion, made up mostly of Vietnam and Korean War-era veterans, is breaking with other leading vets’ groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars in lobbying for the removal of the major roadblock in pursuing marijuana treatment.”
Hardly alone in their noble effort, the American Legion was joined by the 115th Congress in attempting to provide veterans with safe access to medical marijuana in states where cannabis medicine is legal.
Ignoring the existing mountain of scientific evidence, the VA explains on its website that while some states have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes – the VA is mandated to “follow all federal laws.”