Story courtesy of WRIC
As of 2021, 36 states have officially legalized cannabis for medical use — and 18 have legalized it for adult-use. Yet, those in the VA still struggle to get their hands on MMJ, regardless of legal status. As legalization and cannabis acceptance surges, it appears as though the road of progress is leaving veterans behind.
Thankfully, states like Virginia are aiming to change that.
What’s the Problem?
A lot of regulations in the cannabis industry lay in a gray area — veterans and MMJ are no exception. The Department of Veteran Affairs has long had negative viewpoints on cannabis. As societal perspectives have shifted, the VA’s viewpoints have only become more muddied. While they state that veterans are “encouraged to talk to their doctors about marijuana use,” the department still denies countless men and women their healthcare benefits because of cannabis consumption.
For many, the VA’s only solution tends to be painkillers, addictive opioids that only cause more problems than solutions. Then, when veterans try to turn to plant-based options like MMJ, suddenly, they lose all support.
Recently, there’s been a huge push for the VA to look into cannabis research in an attempt to better understand the potential medical benefits. However, the VA’s recently denied the idea entirely, saying they will not look into cannabis research. So, their opinion stands that MMJ is not an acceptable form of treatment — despite so many people finding it so.
Today, states like Virginia are attempting to protect their veterans and potentially reverse the VA’s antiquated values.
Virginia’s Trying to Change the Game
Virginia’s senator Tim Kaine has recently proposed a bill that would allow veterans to consume medical marijuana without repercussion from the VA. With this, the state will also work with Veteran Affairs to help them study MMJ and its benefits.
If you want to find out more about what’s happening in Virginia — and what our founder Stephen Stearman has to say about it all — you can check out the full story right here. (Or click the link button down below!)