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Congress Votes To Permit Military Veterans Access To Medical Cannabis

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Congress Votes To Permit Military Veterans Access To Medical Cannabis

Washington, DC: Members of the US House and Senate have voted to expand military veterans' access to medicinal cannabis in states that allow it.

House members voted 233 to 189 last week in favor of the Veterans Equal Access Amendment. The amendment, offered by Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR) to the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, prohibits the federal government from sanctioning V.A. physicians who wish to recommend cannabis therapy to their patients.

Under the provision, military veterans who reside in states with active medical marijuana programs would be able to obtain a recommendation from their V.A. physician rather than having to seek out a private doctor. Presently, V.A. physicians are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary for veterans to access medical cannabis in states that permit its therapeutic use.

House members defeated a similar amendment last year by a vote of 213 to 210.

Members of the US Senate had already approved similar language in their version of the reauthorization bill.

The House and Senate versions of FY 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations now await a concurrence vote prior to being sent to the President.

For more information, please contact Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.