House Committee Blocks Veterans Equal Access Amendments

3410000930_95fc2866fa_zTwo weeks ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24-7 to include the Veterans Equal Access amendment, introduced by Senator Daines (R-MT) as part of the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which would expand much needed medical marijuana access to our nation’s veterans.

Yet House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) decided that he did not want the full House to be able to vote on this critical amendment.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the amendments lead sponsor, testified before the committee that it was “a critical area of literally life and death.”

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. A retrospective review of patients’ symptoms published in 2014 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs reported a greater than 75 percent reduction on a scale of post-traumatic symptom scores following cannabis therapy. This is why, in recent months, two of the largest veterans’ rights groups — AMVETS and the American Legion —  have resolved in favor of patients’ access to cannabis therapy.

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 remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

It is time that lawmakers stop playing politics with veterans’ health and pass and enact this amendment. There is still the possibility of the Senate’s amendment making it through the conference committee so make your voice heard.

You can send a message to your elected officials in support of veterans having access to medical marijuana by clicking HERE.

8 thoughts

  1. Texans;

    Contact Governor Abbott’s office:

    Tell him we have veterans with PTSD and children with severe epilepsy who NEED legalized medical cannabis to survive. (Try not to use the word marijuana… its still Reefer Madness in the Governor’s mansion).
    Expanding the Compassionate Use Act was voted into the Republican platform. Children and veterans are dying. Get HB85 into the Special Session snd lets save lives.

  2. Cannabis is a plant God put here for it’s natural medicinal benefits. It should never ever been made illegal!

  3. HEMP WOULD SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT not to mention the millions that benefit from the medicinal properties there are over 50,000 uses for hemp PLEASE for once think of the rest of us that are not wealthy congressmen!!!! save a life and our environment legalize hemp as an agricultural crop before our planet is gone and you are forced to learn you CAN NOT EAT MONEY!!!!

  4. Ladies and Gentlemen of the House and Senate, you are not the Veterans like me that suffer day after day night after night. I have used Cannabis (marijuana) and it is far superior to the psychotropic, opioid, and neurogenic drugs forced upon me by my primary care physician at the Veterans hospital. The Doctor has no choice because you keep removing this provision from the legislation. Please just leave it in and end my suffering and use of much more toxic pharmaceuticals. I have earned the right to make my own decision on this subject. If you respect us Veterans and our sacrifice and suffering do the right thing. Leave the provision in! Respectfully

  5. “Yet House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) decided that he did not want the full House to be able to vote on this critical amendment.”

    Friggin’ Republicans screw the American people again…

  6. Thank you for posting this information. It is important that this issue raise as much attention as possible. I am a combat veteran who has used medical marijuana for over a year to treat chronic pain from a service related injury. The VA was willing to pay for me to have back surgery, go to a pain management specialist, and would give me an endless amount of pain medication. As soon as I started using marijuana to treat my back injury I was able to no longer use pain medications and was able to effectively treat my injury, and now I no longer need to have surgery. I hope that congress will put veterans first since veterans put our country first.

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