By OCC Staff
Yet another slap in the face of Federal marijuana prohibition, as the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill containing a landmark amendment that allows Veterans Administration (VA) medical doctors to now recommend medical marijuana. With a final vote of 233 to 189, the House strongly passed the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill which contained the amendment.
U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland, Oregon) statement:
“One of the greatest tragedies of our time is our failure to adequately deal with the needs of our veterans returning home with wounds both visible and unseen. Giving them access to medical marijuana as an alternative treatment option to deal with chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions is critical at a time when our veterans are dying with a suicide rate 50 percent higher than civilians and opiate overdoses at nearly double the national average. Medical marijuana can be a safer, more effective alternative,”
“I commend my colleagues for showing compassion and supporting our wounded warriors. Today’s vote is a win for these men and women who have done so much for us and deserve equal treatment in being able to consult with, and seek a recommendation from, their personal VA physician about medical marijuana.”
“This is an historic moment and further proof there is real movement and bipartisan support in reforming outdated federal marijuana policies. There is more to be done, and I will build on today’s momentum and continue my efforts in catching federal policy up to reflect the views held by a majority of Americans.”
Blumenauer is a longtime supporter of medical marijuana and legalization of cannabis, as well as rescheduling it off the Controlled Substances Act. He co-sponsored this amendment.
In April, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed a similar amendment to the Senate version of the military funding bill. The Senate and House bills will need to be reconciled and passed by both chambers to become law. Regardless, this is historic, and few real problems in the joint conference committee are expected.
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