President Donald Trump’s stance on legalizing medical cannabis is a big question mark, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions hates marijuana and has expressed his intent to stiffen drug penalties. But there is at least one person in the government who sees the potential of marijuana as a medicine, and that person is Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin.
Shulkin, a holdover from the Obama administration, told reporters on May 31, 2017, that he’s “interested” in exploring how cannabis can benefit veterans wrestling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
The VA secretary stated:
“Right now, federal law does not allow us at VA to look at that [medical marijuana] as an option for veterans … I believe that everything that could help veterans should be debated by Congress and by medical experts and we will implement that law.
So if there is compelling evidence that this is helpful, I hope that people take a look at that and come up with the right decision. And then we will implement that.” 
Just a week before Shulkin’s statements, the American Legion (the country’s largest veterans organization) called on the Trump administration to “clear the way for clinical research in the cutting-edge areas of cannabinoid receptor research.”
Currently, VA doctors are not allowed to recommend medical cannabis to veterans because it remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, meaning the government does not recognize its medicinal benefits. Heroin – which killed more than 13,000 people in 2015 – falls into the same category. However, Shulkin emphasized in 2016 that VA doctors can discuss the matter in states where medical marijuana is legal. 
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.
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