What sets veterans apart from all the others not having access to medical marijuana?
The system. Veterans obtain their healthcare via the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which is a federal agency. As a federal agency, the VA is not allowed to recommend or prescribe a substance that is considered illegal under federal law.
With cannabis being a Schedule 1 drug, it falls under this category, making it inaccessible to military veterans.
These and many other issues were discussed and explained in the latest Benzinga Cannabis Insider episode, hosted by Javier Hasse and Eliot Lane, and moderated by Sarah Chase, executive director of the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR). Brian Mast, a U.S. representative from Florida and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Victor Bohm, senior director of communications at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), joined as guests.
Fight For Cannabis Equals Fight For Freedom
Mast, an Afghanistan War veteran who lost two legs and a finger, considers his new job similar to what he was doing in the military — serving his country and defending the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. For him, fighting for veterans’ access to cannabis means fighting for freedom.
“Descheduling marijuana from the list of federally scheduled substances is just number one thing, in my opinion, that we can do, to give what this place is all about – freedom and state’s right,” Mast said.
“We know that there are benefits to cannabis out there for people undergoing a host of medical conditions, whether it's post-traumatic stress disorder, something that can aid individuals that …