Lawmakers To The VA: Time To Grow A Pair And Start Studying Medical Marijuana

Bullet Points
Some dank nugs. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Dank Depot)

The ranking Republican congressman responsible for veterans affairs has once again introduced legislation directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to research the potential applications of medical marijuana to treat issues like post-traumatic stress disorder.


  • Introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), the ranking Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, the Veterans Affairs Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019 would require the VA "to conduct and support" research on medical marijuana, according to a Thursday statement form HVAC.
  • "It is imperative that clinicians have data on utilizing cannabis as a treatment option so that they can properly advise their patients on potential side-effects," Roe, a doctor and veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, said in a statement.
  • "If research on the usage of medical cannabis is favorable, I am confident that it could become another option to help improve the lives of veterans and other Americans," he added.
  • Roe introduced similar legislation last year to address what T&P's James Clark characterized at the time as the VA's tendency to whiff on issues pertaining to medical marijuana issues "in favor of citing hazy policy and vague restrictions."
  • While Roe's 2018 legislation went nowhere, this year's stab at forcing the VA's hand on medical marijuana research comes less than a week after Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
  • "H.R. 747 contains the exact same bipartisan language that was passed through committee unanimously last Congress, except the language is stronger," HVAC spokeswoman Molly Jenkins told Task & Purpose. "The text of the bill says that VA 'shall' conduct research, previously the language said 'may' conduct research."
  • A 2017 poll of veterans and veteran caregivers conduced at the behest of the American Legion found that an eye-polling 92% of respondents supported expanded research into the medical benefits of the marijuana, eclipsing the 82% who supported the broader legalization efforts in general.

SEE ALSO: The VA May Soon Be Forced Into Medical Marijuana Research. Finally

WATCH NEXT: Former VA Chief David Shulkin Talks Medical Marijuana With T&P

The top leaders of a Japan-based Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet squadron were fired after an investigation into a deadly mid-air collision last December found that poor training and an "unprofessional command climate" contributed to the crash that left six Marines dead, officials announced on Monday.

Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Super Hercules and one Marine onboard an F/A-18D Hornet were killed in the Dec. 6, 2018 collision that took place about 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Another Marine aviator who was in the Hornet survived.

Read More Show Less

A former Army soldier was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday for stealing weapons from Fort Bliss, along with other charges.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.

Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Pratt Industries, Sunday, Sept 22, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.

Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.

Read More Show Less
"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less