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Veterans Marijuana Research Bill Would Be Inexpensive But Could Fail To Expand Studies

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on federal legislation intended to expand research into using cannabis to treat PTSD and chronic pain in military veterans says the proposal would result in negligible costs to the government but may also fail at its goal of ushering in additional studies.

Ben Adlin March 6 2023

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The CBO report, published on Thursday, consists of a short analysis of the Senate bill, S.326, which would mandate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) research and report to Congress on the therapeutic potential of cannabis for veterans. It would also authorize, but not require, VA to conduct clinical trials involving marijuana.

Satisfying the reporting requirement to Congress, CBO estimates, “would cost less than $500,000 over the 2023-2028 period,” subject to appropriations by federal lawmakers.

But as for further research, the report notes that VA studies “conducted under current laws governing cannabis prescription and use” are already examining marijuana’s risks and benefits for veterans with PTSD and chronic pain.