Congresswoman Calls for Psychedelic & Cannabis Research to Aid Veterans
Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) delivered a passionate speech on the House floor, praising the FDA's recent guidance on psychedelics research. She called for more studies to explore the therapeutic benefits of marijuana for treating conditions like PTSD, which commonly affect veterans.
As a doctor, former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, and a 24-year U.S. Army veteran, Miller-Meeks emphasized the urgent need to address the mental, emotional, and physical health of her constituents and fellow veterans. She highlighted the potential of psychedelic drugs and cannabis to offer effective treatments, reducing reliance on opioids.
“The new FDA guidance presents considerations for designing clinical trials for psychedelic drugs, which will give patients and their doctors increased access to effective treatments rather than alternatives, such as opioids. That is why I introduced the Veterans Care Act to allow the VA to research the effectiveness of using medical cannabis for chronic mental and physical pain” she said.
The FDA's guidance was prompted by a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Miller-Meeks, alongside Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and Ro Khanna (D-CA), advocating research into developing psychedelic medicines. The agency's release of non-binding guidelines was met with applause from the congresswoman and her colleagues, including the co-chairs of the congressional psychedelics caucus.
Miller-Meeks also discussed her bill, the Veterans Cannabis Analysis, Research, and Effectiveness (CARE) Act, aimed at researching medical cannabis for chronic mental and physical pain in veterans. Her commitment to exploring breakthrough therapies is evident through roundtables held in the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee, which she chairs.
In her call to action, Miller-Meeks urged support for innovative research approaches to benefit the well-being of heroic veterans. As cannabis and psychedelics policy progress, there is growing recognition of alternative treatments for veterans' health, offering hope for improved care in the future.