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Representative Hastings Cosponsors IAVA-Backed Cannabis Research Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (March 14, 2019)Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the leading voice of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans, is proud to announce that U.S. Rep Alcee Hastings (D-FL) has become a cosponsor of the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act (S. 179/H.R. 712). Rep. Hastings became a co-sponsor during IAVA’s Storm The Hill – IAVA’s quarterly advocacy push in Washington, DC.

The legislation authorizes the VA to conduct research into the safety and effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for veterans with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions. It also requires the VA to report to Congress at least yearly on the implementation of the research.

Representative Hastings was first elected in 1992 and is currently the longest-serving Member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, and he is the Senior Majority Whip. He currently serves as Chair of the Helsinki Commission and Vice Chair of the Rules Committee.

“Since 2017, IAVA has made it one of our top priorities to empower veterans who are calling for the medicinal use of cannabis to treat the wounds of war,” said IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler. “We appreciate Rep. Hasting’s support for advancing this bipartisan bill that simply begins research at the VA to determine whether medicinal cannabis use is effective and if it is safe.”
The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), now has 4 Senate cosponsors, plus 46 in the House. The bill is among IAVA’s Big Six priorities for 2019, including Suicide Prevention, Government Reform, #SheWhoBorneTheBattle, #DefendTheGIBill, and Burn Pits/Toxic Exposure Injury Support.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.