Emails Show that Officials under Trump Have Been Pushing for Cannabis Research

Some recent emails show that Veteran Officials under Trump Have Been Pushing for Medical Cannabis Research.

High-ranking Trump administration officials have discussed urging the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study the benefits of medical marijuana for veterans, email correspondence reveals, reported the Marijuana Moment on July 2nd.

A senior White House advisor for VA issues, Jake Leinenkugel, wrote that “thousands of Veterans claim their legal/illegal use of cannabis has made dramatic changes in their well-being.”

“Ask WH & Congress for permission to propose legislation to study effects of cannabis on 100% disabled volunteer PTSD Veterans,” Leinenkugel wrote, referring to the White House. “Bold action in deference to [Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s] opinion of medical marijuana.”

He added that it was the right thing to do and noted that the move had the support of such veterans groups as the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

The message, sent on June 15, 2017, was part of a collection of emails released to journalist Jasper Craven, a freelancer for The Nation, Vice and other publications. Craven apparently obtained the emails under a Freedom of Information Act request last month.

Tom Angell, of the Marijuana Report, noted that it was is unclear from the emails as to whether the discussion of veterans and cannabis went further or to what level.

Under current law, the VA is already able to research cannabis and allow its doctors to recommend MMJ in accordance with state laws.

However, VA leadership has been reluctant to move on the issue and has upheld bans on filling out forms to enable veterans to take part in state medical cannabis programs.

VA officials have also blocked efforts to recruit veteran participants in studies on marijuana’s potential medical benefits.

Meanwhile, a bill focused on encouraging VA to study medical cannabis became the first-ever standalone marijuana reform legislation to be approved by a congressional committee in May.

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