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The VA and the FDA Are Keeping Veterans from a Helpful Treatment Option, Just Because It's Marijuana

May 13, 2019 in Economics

By Trevor Burrus

Trevor Burrus

The Department of Veterans Affairs is opposing a group of bills
that could help veterans better access medical marijuana in states
where it is legal. This is unsurprising. As a federal agency, the
VA must ultimately toe the line defined by the Controlled
Substances Act and the Drug Enforcement Administration: that
marijuana has no legitimate medical uses and is a dangerous drug.
Yet the VA’s position also raises the broader question: Will
the federal government ever view marijuana, as a plant, as
“medicine”?

Although it helps millions of people every day, marijuana, as
far as the federal government is concerned, is not and will never
be medicine. Legalization advocates like myself should put little
hope in a whole plant being validated by the Food and Drug
Administration as “medicine.” The FDA is no more likely
to approve marijuana as a medicine than it is to approve chicken
soup for colds, even though we all know chicken soup works.

Marijuana, whether smoked, drank, vaporized, or eaten,
unquestionably has innumerable medicinal and therapeutic uses, as
does ginger tea, yoga, hot toddies, and a good night’s sleep
— all of which won’t be approved by the FDA either.
Marijuana has proven uses in reducing seizures, treating glaucoma,
restoring the appetites of those undergoing chemotherapy, reducing
stress, treating pain, and many more. It truly is a miraculous and
complex little plant.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is opposing a group of bills
that could help veterans better access medical marijuana in states
where it is legal. This is unsurprising. As a federal agency, the
VA must ultimately toe the line defined by the Controlled
Substances Act and the Drug Enforcement Administration: that
marijuana has no legitimate medical uses and is a dangerous drug.
Yet the VA’s position also raises the broader question: Will
the federal government ever view marijuana, as a plant, as
“medicine”?

Although it helps millions of people every day, marijuana, as
far as the federal government is concerned, is not and will never
be medicine. Legalization advocates like myself should put little
hope in a whole plant being validated by the Food and Drug
Administration as “medicine.” The FDA is no more likely
to approve marijuana as a medicine than it is to approve chicken
soup for colds, even though we all know chicken soup works.

Marijuana, whether smoked, drank, vaporized, or eaten,
unquestionably has innumerable medicinal and therapeutic uses, as
does ginger tea, yoga, hot toddies, and a good night’s sleep
— all of which won’t be approved by the FDA either.
Marijuana has proven uses in reducing seizures, treating glaucoma,
restoring the appetites of those undergoing chemotherapy, reducing
stress, treating pain, and many more. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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