VA Secretary suddenly shifts his position on marijuana research and PTSD

VA Secretary suddenly shifts his position on marijuana research and PTSD

Published on 5/22/18

The Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin is trying to shift the blame from him onto congress for why the VA has continuously refused to help veterans discuss or access medical marijuana studies and treatments. At every turn Shulkin has told people that the VA is unable to discuss or study medical marijuana because it's federally illegal, but after being pressed by legislators and veteran organizations many times his reasoning has shifted, now he is blaming congress saying working with medical marijuana is "very challenging work". One Congressman hit the nail on the head with Shulkin's lack of effot by saying "Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it,”. There are even medical marijuana studies currently in progress that are having trouble finding veterans because they were not allowed to promote the study at the VA, yet Shulkin has done nothing about allowing doctors to share the study with patients. Shulkin's claims of waiting for research have proven to be empty when he blatantly disregards these huge opportunities to both advance major studies and help veterans find proper medication and relief.

While Shulkin seems to have shifted his position slightly last week—now saying that his department can investigate marijuana—he’s still blaming Congress for the lack of research, implying that trials haven’t moved forward because it’s too difficult to receive the necessary government approvals. He said during his testimony, “If Congress made it easier to go through the process, it would probably happen faster.”

“[Shulkin] has not asked for help to remove those [research] barriers,” a frustrated Rep. Walz said. “If so, we would start building a coalition to do what he needed. He hasn’t asked. If you read his letter, there was no desire to pursue this.”

Shulkin’s reply to Rep. Walz even stated that laws restrict the VA from referring veterans to non-VA research projects on medical cannabis.

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