PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's independent senator says he is getting behind an effort to research how medicinal cannabis could help veterans.

Sen. Angus King is part of a bipartisan group of legislators that wants to authorize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to advance research about the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

The scientific and medical research would be authorized by the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018. King says the act would clarify that research into medicinal cannabis is within the authority of the VA. It would also require the VA to report to Congress about how it plans to exercise such authority.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America supports the legislation.