Minnesota Representative Tim Walz is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study medical marijuana’s efficacy as a painkiller. Walz is a co-sponsor, along with Congressman Phil Roe, on Chuck Schumer’s bill to nationally decriminalize marijuana. Coe is the chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee.
Walz commented that the VA needs to start exploring every avenue available for treating pain, NPR reported. He says it’s time for the VA to conduct a study on just veterans to determine if marijuana works better for them for pain than opioids. This is on-trend with the efforts to reduce opioid use/abuse nationally.
Walz touts the VA for being one of the best “research arms” globally. He spent time developing a strong bipartisan coalition that support this research. The American Legion is part of that coalition after surveying its members finding that 92-percent support medical marijuana research for veterans.
Some veterans are already using medical marijuana, and have found relief. That’s where Walz may belive that some of the shift in opinion and increased support from the American Legion is coming from.
Veterans undoubtedly support researching medical marijuana for pain. Veterans from all ages support the research.
Walz also thinks that national decriminalization is the right direction for the country. He is unhappy with veterans, and others, still being criminalized for using marijuana medicinally. If the VA does conduct the study and finds that they should be allowing medicinal marijuana use, it could help national medical marijuana legislation become law so that every American (and veteran) has access to the medicine that needs it.