The nation's largest veterans service organization
wants barriers to scientific researched removed
WASHINGTON D.C. | The Washington Post – The nation’s largest veterans’ group has requested a meeting at the White House to discuss rescheduling marijuana’s status as a federally controlled substance so medical researchers may legally study its potential to help vets suffering from conditions including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
America Legion is looking for face time with the Trump administration “as we seek support from the president to clear the way for clinical research in the cutting edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research,” the organization wrote in a letter sent to the White House last month and recently shared with the media.
“It’s time the federal government took action to remove barriers to scientific research on this very important subject,” Joe Plenzler, American Legion director of media relations, told The Denver Post’s Cannabist Monday.
While 29 states and counting have passed laws letting doctors recommend weed to patients diagnosed with certain conditions, marijuana remains federally listed as a Schedule 1 substance defined as having no “currently accepted medical use” on par with heroin, LSD and ecstasy.
Rescheduling cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act would remove restrictions limiting federally-funded researchers from studying its possible benefits and potentially reverse the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ existing anti-pot stance, according to the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ group at about 2.4 million members.
“We are not asking for it to be legalized,” Louis Celli, its national director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation, told Politico. “There is overwhelming evidence that it has been beneficial for some vets. The difference is that it is not founded in federal research because it has been illegal.”
Charles Schmidt, National Commander of the American Legion, speaks to the media while flanked by Verna Jones, Executive Director of the American Legion in the District, during a news conference at the National Press Club on February 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Schmidt spoke about critical veteran's issues facing the new Trump administration and Congress. The Legion has now called on Trump to reschedule cannabis for medical research to assist veterans. (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)
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