Last week, U.S. Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) – plus nine of his Democratic colleagues on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs – requested scientists at the Veterans Affairs (VA) be allowed to perform research on marijuana’s many terpenes and cannabinoids.
Potentially aiding America’s veterans suffering from chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Walz sent a request to VA Secretary David Shulkin on Oct. 26 in the form of a letter; asserting the veterans administration “is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD.”
Walz was joined in signing the letter by Reps. Mark Takano (D-CA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), J. Luis Correa (D-CA), Kilili Sablan (I-Northern Mariana Islands), Elizabeth Esty, (D-CT), and Scott Peters (D-CA).
History of Breakthroughs at the ORD
Since the VA first established its Office of Research and Development (ORD) in 1925, the group’s inquisitive scientists have been credited with making some fairly innovative discoveries: the implantable cardiac pacemaker, the nicotine patch, a vaccine for shingles, and therapies for treating tuberculosis – just to name a few.
Now, Walz and his cohorts want the VA’s scientific research wing to study medical marijuana as a treatment option for chronic pain and PTSD.
On point and pulling no punches, the letter fired off by the concerned lawmakers from the Committee on Veterans Affairs noted: “[The] VA’s pursuit of research into the impact of medical marijuana on the treatment of veterans diagnosed with PTSD who are also experiencing chronic pain is integral to the advancement of health care for veterans and the Nation.”
The second letter in as many months to land on Sec. Shulkin’s desk, in late September, Dennis Rohan of the American Legion also sent a letter to Shulkin requesting the VA support FDA-approved marijuana/PTSD research.
Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett