Law Would Force Feds to Let Veterans Get Medical Marijuana

Law Would Force Feds to Let Veterans Get Medical Marijuana

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New legislation would force the federal government to allow veterans to obtain medical marijuana in states, like California, where it’s legal. The amendment to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make cannabis available to veterans who need it was recently approved by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee 24 to 7. The department would be prohibited from interfering with a veteran’s ability to obtain weed, and from blocking healthcare providers from giving pot to veterans where it’s legal, according to language attached to a military appropriations bill. "The amendment ensures that veterans have equal access to all of the medical options available in their local community, to include medical marijuana in states where it is legal," according to a statement from the office of co-author Steve Daines, a Montana Republican. Clearing the V.A.’s blockade of medical marijuana has been attempted before. In 2015, military spending legislation supported by Southern California U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher would have allowed Veterans Affairs-affiliated doctors to write medical marijuana recommendations in states like California. It was rejected in the House. And, last year, language very similar to the latest amendment made it through the House and Senate but was stripped in a last-minute move by Republican leaders in the House Appropriations Committee. This time around there seems to be more hope for the legislation co-authored by Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley. "It has an excellent chance of passing the senate, as it did last year," Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority, said via email. "Unfortunately last year, the conference committee stripped the language when reconciling both chambers’ bills, something we will be working extra hard to prevent this year," he said. "I think the increase in support in the Senate committee, plus the new state laws coming on board, is an indication we […]

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