The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on four bills focused on marijuana and military veterans next week.
That will be the second congressional cannabis meeting of the week—a strong signal that marijuana reform is getting the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill in a way that hasn’t been seen before.
The panel will consider legislation that would allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical cannabis in states where it’s legal. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is sponsoring that bill.
Legislation introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), which will also be featured at the meeting, would require VA to conduct clinical trials on the potential therapeutic benefits of marijuana for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, introduced a bill that would provide for training on medical cannabis for VA primary care providers—another piece of legislation that the Veterans’ Affairs Committee will take up.
Finally, Moulton has another bill to require VA to conduct a survey to “measure cannabis use by veterans” that members will discuss.
The committee was scheduled to vote on two veterans and cannabis bills—including the VA research proposal—at a meeting last month following a subcomittee’s hearing on the legislation, but those votes were cancelled.
Congressional meetings on marijuana legislation have become something of a trend in the 116th Congress, with members of the House Financial Services Committee approving a bill to protect banks that service cannabis businesses in March after holding a hearing on the measure.
The House Small Business Committee announced this week that members will discuss opportunities for small businesses in the marijuana industry at a hearing on June 19.
Photo courtesy of Evan Johnson.