US Representative Seth Moulton is the newest legislator to introduce a bill in hopes of changing the way Veterans Affairs handles marijuana treatment for veterans.
Moulton, D-Salem, Mass., and US Rep Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., are co-sponsoring three bills that will address current policy and ensure the protection of any veteran who considers treatment involving marijuana and prevent loss of benefits, allowing the VA to better understand veterans’ needs across the country and encourage cooperation between the VA and college research facilities.
Moulton and Gaetz are on opposite ends of the Trump appreciation spectrum, but that didn’t stop them from working together for the best interest of their veteran constituents.
Moulton is a vocal advocate for marijuana legalization, including recreational use. He also is not shy about raising awareness of the use of marijuana, noting that a lot of US residents are using marijuana – including our veterans.
Moulton is a military veteran himself, while Gaetz presents himself as an advocate for veterans and a listener when it comes to the needs they express. The duo feel regulation and safety are paramount when it comes to marijuana use. The hope is that these bills will protect veterans and ensure that adequate research is completed to continue to provide the best treatment involving marijuana in the future.
Recent studies completed by the American Legion showed that nearly one-quarter of the nation’s veterans already rely on marijuana for medical treatment and roughly four-fifths of the nation’s households where a veteran lives believe the use of marijuana for medical treatments should be legal.
Meanwhile, a study in 2011 showed that veterans were almost twice as likely to die of an opioid overdose due to self-medication than non-military US residents. The interest in turning to marijuana for help with pain management and stress relief is already present. The legislation introduced will increase the potential for those veterans to receive the appropriate treatment for their conditions.
Not only are the bills being introduced with representation from both parties, but they also have the support of the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Cannabis Industry Association and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.