Veterans Back Leading Bill to Respect States' Rights and Voters Where Cannabis is Legal

Trump-Supported STATES Act “Vital First Step”

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Veterans Cannabis Project Executive Director Doug Distaso released the following statement in support of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act introduced in the United States Senate today by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and in the United States House of Representatives by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and David Joyce (R-OH-14):

“The STATES Act is the most significant federal cannabis reform bill in Congress with a real chance of being signed into law, and its enactment would be a vital first step toward making medical cannabis a legal treatment option for U.S. military veterans.

“Veterans applaud the leadership of Sens. Gardner and Warren and Reps. Blumenauer and Joyce on this essential legislation and thank President Trump for his public support of the STATES Act. Veterans Cannabis Project hopes to build on this bill’s momentum to give veterans a safer alternative to the potentially lethal opioids and benzodiazepines often used to treat the PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain our veterans suffer disproportionately, and we urge Congress to include provisions that will address veteran-specific access issues in the final legislative package.

“Today, Veterans Health Administration doctors cannot recommend cannabis or complete and submit the forms that many states require for medical access, effectively barring more than nine million veterans who receive their healthcare directly from the federal government through the VHA from accessing safe, legal medical cannabis. As Congress works to pass the STATES Act, I strongly urge lawmakers to add provisions that will authorize access, provide protections, and require research into medical cannabis, as our veterans overwhelmingly want and deserve.”

  • An American Legion survey of veteran households found that 82 percent want to have cannabis as a federally-legal treatment, and 92 percent support research into medical cannabis. Survey shows veteran households support research of medical cannabis

  • A survey conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) found “83% of IAVA members agree cannabis should be legal for medical purposes” and 90 percent of IAVA members support researching cannabis for medicinal purposes. 2019 IAVA Survey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2019 // CONTACT: David White - 202-290-0944