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Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee approves medical cannabis research bill



| 02/16/2023 01:37 PM EST

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The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday approved the chamber's first standalone cannabis bill since the Controlled Substances Act was enacted more than 50 years ago.

The measure — the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act — is sponsored by Committee Chair Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and passed during a vote off the Senate floor.

"I like this because this [bill] is literally ... a direct result of just going out to the community and hearing from my constituents," Sullivan told POLITICO on Thursday. At town halls in Alaska, Sullivan said he's heard from "veterans saying 'why can't we do this? Why are these young men or women coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan getting pumped up with opioids, when this might be a better solution?'"

The bill has many more hurdles before making it to the president's desk, but if it were signed into law it would instruct the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct research on the impact of cannabis on veterans who are using it to treat symptoms of PTSD, chronic pain and other ailments.


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