Another Failure by Congress on Veterans Medical Marijuana Access

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After also getting stripped in 2016 by Republican’s in conference committee, once again a Republican led conference committee has stripped out the provisions that would allow a physician under the VA recommend cannabis as medicine in states that have allowed it’s use. In June the U.S. Senate approved the provisions in the VA funding bill they approved overwhelmingly with 85 Senators voting for it. Unfortunately in the conference committee, where both houses get together to hammer out differences between similar bills, House Republicans stood in the way.

Marijuana Moment reported on the exclusion, explaining what happened in the committee. Tom Angell reports:

“Because House Republican leaders blocked their colleagues from even being able to vote on including such language in their chamber’s version of the legislation, the issue was up for discussion by a bicameral panel that was tasked with merging the proposals into a single bill that can be sent to President Trump for his signature.

“The conferees opted not to include the cannabis provision in the final legislation released on Monday.”

The Veteran Cannabis Amendment approved in the Senate VA funding bill stated:

SEC. 249. None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department of Veterans Affairs in this Act may be used in a manner that would—

(1) interfere with the ability of a veteran to participate in a medicinal marijuana program approved by a State;

(2) deny any services from the Department to a veteran who is participating in such a program; or

(3) limit or interfere with the ability of a health care provider of the Department to make appropriate recommendations, fill out forms, or take steps to comply with such a program.

The Medical Cannabis Research Act will get a vote in the House Judiciary Committee this week. It is a stand alone bill that would also allow research grows and access for vets. Stay tuned.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at occnewspaper420@gmail.com

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