Leaders of military veterans organizations sent a clear message to congressional lawmakers this week: federal marijuana and psychedelics laws are outdated and should be reformed to give service members alternative treatment options for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.
During joint hearings before House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on Wednesday and Thursday, three veterans service organizations (VSOs) submitted written testimony backing a policy change to expand access to or increase research on medical cannabis, and one argued in favor of loosening restrictions to enable veterans to utilize psychedelics in their mental health treatment.
Cannabis’s medical potential and the way that federal policy impedes research was also raised during one of the hearings by a freshman Republican member of Congress.
“The epidemic of substance use disorder and other mental health crises among veterans demonstrates the need for innovative therapies that extend beyond traditional psychopharmacological interventions,” Minority Veterans of America (MVA) said in its written testimony. “As such, we believe it is necessary to include cannabis and psychedelics in the [Veterans Health Administration’s] psychopharmacological repertoire.”