Wrong on marijuana

From an editorial Thursday in the Fayetteville Observer:

Here’s one more place where this country’s four-decade-long, trillion-dollar War on Drugs continues to fail us: veterans’ health.

Despite the fact that more than a fifth of all veterans report using marijuana to treat a medical condition, the Department of Veterans Affairs refuses to conduct even the most basic research into the potential uses of medical marijuana.

A group of 10 Democrats who serve on the U.S. House Veterans’ Affairs Committee recently asked VA Secretary David Shulkin to commit to medical marijuana research, specifically whether it could help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

Shulkin gave them a flat turndown.

Rep. Tim Walz, the Minnesota Democrat who is ranking member of the committee, said, “VA’s response not only failed to answer our simple question, but they made a disheartening attempt to mislead me, my colleagues and the veteran community in the process” by claiming there’s a prohibition on research.

What there is, apparently across federal bureaucracies, is a resurgence in old thinking about drugs. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to rekindle the government’s old and failed attempts to curtail drug use through interdiction and prohibition, a costly strategy that not only hasn’t worked, but has led to what may be the most widespread drug use in American history.