Portland Congressman to introduce Amendment to military appropriations bill to ease veteran access to medical marijuana
By OCC Staff
Oregon’s Representative Earl Blumenauer (D- Portland), one of the nations most staunch advocates of medical marijuana, will offer an amendment to FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill that will make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana. What Rep. Blumenhauer’s bill would ensure that no funds made available to the VA can be used to implement any prohibition against marijuana, which would, in effect, strike it down.
Currently, The VA does not allow is doctor’s from recommending marijuana or completing any documents relating to a states marijuana program. His amendment would change that.
Congressman Blumenauer Press Release (May 16, 2016):
United States House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2016
Blumenauer to Offer “Veterans Equal Access” Amendment to Remove Restrictions Preventing VA Doctors from Recommending Medical Marijuana
Washington, DC – This week, when the U.S. House of Representatives considers the FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) will offer an amendment to make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana.
Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a veteran’s participation in a state medical marijuana program. This forces veterans out of the VA system to seek a simple recommendation for treatment for eligible conditions as granted to them by state laws. Representative Blumenauer’s amendment ensures that no funds made available to the VA can be used to implement this prohibition, which would, in effect, strike it down.
“It’s wrong and unfair to force our veterans outside of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option. And, our VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer such a recommendation if they think it may meet the needs of their patient,” said Representative Blumenauer. “We received more support to fix this situation than ever before last year. I hope we can build on that support and that my colleagues will show compassion and do what’s right for our veterans.”
Since 2014, Congressman Blumenauer has led the effort to make it easier for qualified veterans to access medical marijuana – which can be used in many states to treat a variety of conditions, including post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries frequently suffered by veterans. Last year, the amendment narrowly failed 210-213, compared to 2014 when it failed 195-222. Additionally, Representative Blumenauer introduced legislation that would allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in accordance with state law.”
The Oregon Cannabis Connection salutes Congressman Blumenauer and others that are fighting in Washington, D.D. To change the antiquated laws. Hopefully we can have changes made soon to the Controlled Substances Act that reflects the reality of marijuana as medicine and as a less harmful substance than alcohol, tobacco, or many over the counter cold medications.
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