Republicans Reject Marijuana Research for Veterans Bill

Many veterans organizations have called on Congress to allow their members to use medical marijuana to treat injuries and conditions sustained in combat. But it appears Republicans won't even allow researching whether that's a good idea.

Republicans on the House Rules Committee voted against allowing an amendment that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to regularly report the status of its research into cannabis. All seven Republicans on the committee voted against it, and all four Democrats voted for it. The committee also voted down a proposal to allow more access to kratom, a plant that people can use for pain relief.

Democrat Jared Polis, who proposed both of the failed amendments, spoke against Republicans, citing evidence that marijuana can help ease opioid addiction and argued that medical marijuana should be allowed for veterans.

The House Rules Committee is chaired by Republican Pete Sessions. Sessions (no relation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions) is one of the most anti-cannabis members of Congress and refuses to allow marijuana-related bills or amendments to pass through his committee. 

Polis claimed that Sessions' actions were preventing policies that would pass in Congress from receiving votes.

"I think a lot of my ideas would get 350 votes here in the House. We are not allowed to bring them forward," Polis said. "It is just so frustrating when we all know the human face of people that are suffering from being caught in a vicious cycle of opioid addiction and we have seen in our friends and family.”

Perhaps it's time for voters to change the leadership on these committees.

(h/t Marijuana Moment)

Latest.

Cannabis legalization does not lead to increased use by young people, according to a federally funded study. In fact, legal states have seen underage consumption decrease since repealing prohibition. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has released the latest iteration of the regular Monitoring the Future survey, evaluating the drug habits of American eighth, tenth and twelfth graders.