The argument of whether all military veterans should be allowed access to medical cannabis always seemed somewhat trivial, in short: how is it even up for debate? It seems a real no-brainer, given that veterans are a minority in terms of the American populous, it seems like something that could be easily controlled and regulated whilst being beneficial to those who choose to use it. It really seems as simple to making it available to whoever wishes to use it. With mounting pressure on government to expand the access to cannabis for veterans, it really seems like we are in the final straight in the push towards universal access for at least some of those who would benefit or are in need.
The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has adopted a resolution calling on federal officials to expand veterans’ access to medical marijuana.
The resolution, passed yesterday at the Legion’s annual convention, urges the “United States government to permit VA medical providers to be able to discuss with veterans the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recommend it in those states where medical marijuana laws exist.”
The language is similar to pending legislation in Congress, H.R. 1820: The Veterans Equal Access Act. In July, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24 to 7 to include similar language as an amendment to the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Identical language in the House was blocked from consideration by House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions(R-TX).
Last year, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 MilCon-VA bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee elected to strip the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.
Federal policy prohibits V.A. doctors – including those residing in legal medical cannabis states – from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician.
Both the American Legion and AMVETS issued public calls last year for federal marijuana law reforms. Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional medications to treat conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress.
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Original post from NORML