Veterans Marijuana Research Bill Would Have Minimal Cost, Congressional Analysts Say In Seemingly Flawed Report | Marijuana Moment

  • A bill that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct clinical trials into the therapeutic benefits of marijuana for veterans would have minimal fiscal impact, according to a new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
  • The research office wrote that it would require VA to authorize physicians and other health care providers employed by the department to provide recommendations and opinions on the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live where its use is legal under state law.
  • Seven members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are urging the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to allow VA physicians to verbally recommend medical marijuana to military veterans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • As this global pandemic continues to adversely affect veterans’ behavioral and physical health conditions, we believe that veterans who legally use cannabis in the Commonwealth to treat their ailments deserve to receive more robust assistance from qualified medical personnel at their local VA, the lawmakers, including House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA), wrote, adding that they feel VA should consider making this directive
  • It’s unclear what the practical impact of allowing VA doctors to make verbal recommendations would be, given that state medical marijuana certifications generally require a written component from doctors.
  • Therefore, during this unprecedented public health emergency, VA should issue a directive explicitly authorizing its health care providers to make sensible, clinically sound verbal recommendations to veterans related to participation in state-approved medical marijuana programs and services and to provide advice to veterans as they complete forms and other paperwork reflecting those recommendations.

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