Republican Rules Committee Blocks Veterans Medical Cannabis Amendments

…for the second year in a row.

The House Rules Committee, led by prohibitionist Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), blocked multiple amendments related to marijuana from receiving consideration by the full House, thus ending their consideration and silencing the ability for the lower chamber to offer either legal protections or expanded access to veterans who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

Among the amendments offered, the most critical one is known as Veterans Equal Access, which would allow VA doctors to fill out the authorizing forms needed for veterans to obtain state-legal medical marijuana. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), author of the amendment and legislation by the same name, stated “For the second year, Pete Sessions has shown that he does not care about the health and well-being of our veterans—who are speaking out across the country. All they want is fair and equal treatment, and the ability to consult with their own physician on all treatment options. By blocking this vote, Chairman Sessions has turned his back on our wounded warriors, commonsense, and the will of the American people. He should be ashamed.”

Another amendment pertaining to veterans who work for the Veterans Affairs Department would have provided protections to veterans consume marijuana legally under state statute from losing their job as a result of a positive suspicionless drug test. This amendment was authored by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL).

For context, last year the American Legion conducted a poll that found one in five veterans self-reported using marijuana to alleviate a medical or physical condition. It is cruel and unreasonable to have veterans live in fear of having to choose between their job and their medication.

The Senate Appropriations Committee heard the Veterans Equal Access language introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and passed as a voice vote. Unfortunately, it has a history of passing and then being stripped out of the final version over the last few years.

You can send a message to your Representative in support of the Veterans Equal Access Act, HR 1820, by clicking here. 

On July 22nd – 24th, NORML will hold it’s annual Conference and Lobby Day in DC and will focus on the need to not allow our progress to be rolled back – if you can join us in DC, click here to register.

25 thoughts

  1. This is an attack on our veterans. We work so hard to get these politicians to listen to the needs of these of our vets. Pete Sessions is more concerned about governing by his morals and helping his Pharmaceutical companies than he is about the men and women who put their lives on the line so he could have a career in politics.

  2. Can you imagine a country filled with people like Pete Sessions? If you can then you are imagining a country that I would not opt to serve or defend.

  3. You’re uneducated mentality and poor leadership is a sad but obvious political response in this process. You’re representation of Texas Veterans and citizens will eventually cost you your seat. Progressives WIPL eventually overcome your position from blocking these important bills. I hope you are proud of your immature and pathetic mannerism. Beenie Sanders will ensure that representatives like you will not succeed when he becomes the next TRUE President of the United States.

    Farewell to you,

    John Hawkins
    BMC (SW/DV), USN Retired
    BSCIS, (Cum Laude, Sociology Minor)
    Former VA hospital Management Analyst
    100% Disabled Veteran

    1. Agreed Mr. Hawkins; although you may want to respell “Beenie” Sanders before someone thinks you’re making a racial slur…

      Must admit, the visual of Bernie Sanders in a beenie makes him look young enough to run in 2020…

      1. Julian, my brother, I’ve gotta tell you that “Beenie” will get my vote should he decide to run in 2020.

        I’m still PO’d at Gillibrand, tho will do the right thing of course should she conceivably get the Dem nomination. She still has to evolve slightly on certain issues, IMO, as well as embrace national MJ legalization.

        This is no time for cautious politics. The American people are hungry (desperate) for real change. We have a rabid rightwing party in power, even now dismantling many of our economic safety guards, and we must oppose them with true champions of working class people. We can’t defeat unrepentant corporatism with corporatism light.

        But, as I say, Julian, I won’t help kill the good in favor of the perfect.

  4. theres a madman at the wheel..

    unfortunately, its worse than that..
    one corrupted individual is preventing
    the will of the overwhelming majority,
    from even entering the nations top
    decisionmaking process..

    prohibition corruption takes various forms
    including in this case ‘marijuana madness’..

    the brains of veterans – and of everyone –
    include endo-cannabinoid systems which have
    various real therapeutic and healing functions,
    using our own cbd’s and cbd’s of cannabis..

    who stands to gain from sabotage of rational
    cannabis law reforms, such as provision of
    natural real – non pharmaceutical – medicine
    to veterans ? a special group with documented
    high suicide rates and other service related
    stress related disorders, etc..

    perhaps not madness,, but worse still..
    like a rat eating into the heart of
    the democratic process..
    the people must now unite in using
    their vote, to weed out traitors
    and others blinded to their duty..

    the vote is the key..
    getting the key out and into its lock
    is now the highest priority..

    norml has exposed politicians histories
    in support or sabotage of cannabis..
    they have clear targets on their backs..
    their only chance is sufficient apathy,
    or other low voter turnout…

    do your, duty, people
    – VOTE –

  5. Interesting that he is from the same district in the Houston area as Ted Cruse. Guess they have some old hard right wingers.
    Maybe their constituents need to see the difference MJ makes for our wounded vets, and vets with PTSD.

    1. Pete Sessions is from district 32 which includes Dallas County, which voted for Hillary by 5 points but didn’t have a Democratic candidate. Now we have Collin Allred who fully supports mmj. Pete Sessions is in trouble. It’s gonna be fun guttin this parasite outta Congress.

      1. My fingers are tightly crossed, Julian. Pete Sessions is a golden boy of the prohibitionists, or, in other words, a feckless rat. I’d love to see a defender of legalization defeat that rat in November.

  6. Cue the MAGAt trolls that say that the Democrats and Obama are just as…

    1. I guess the MAGA-men are scared to come out, with all this military around here at the moment… But then again, they are chicken-hawks!

  7. Pete Sessions, your days are numbered. Collin Allred is going to mop the floor with your face in November.

    Meanwhile the VA MJ amendment passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee:

    Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-OR

    “Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions turns his back on our wounded warriors, commonsense & will of Americans. He blocked my amendment AGAIN that would ensure our veterans have safe & equal access to medical marijuana.”

    — Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) June 6, 2018

    Now the question is can a bicameral conference committee get turn this amendment into law?

  8. I just want to know which drug cartel still gets these idiots elected. My bet is that if Superpac funding were to suddenly become subject to disclosure, the major funders of these campaigns and the lobbyists who support continued prohibition are primarily criminal organizations and (or is that including) pharmaceutical companies. When will these idiots understand that usage is what it is and the only debate is who profits from marijuana. These politicians are not anti-drug, they are pro-cartel. In this day and age where data protected with the best of technology is routinely made public,someone will expose the direct links between these politicians and the vicious criminal enterprises they actually represent. It would certainly be cheaper for the VA to grow the correct strains vets need for pain relief, PTSD etc and distribute that to the vets.. Instead. we allow states to tax medicine making it too expensive to purchase “legally” and allow criminals to be enriched by the sacrifices of those of us who still pay every second of every day for our contribution to the lives these politicians enjoy. The country I gave all but my physical life to defend turns out to be completely inhumane and corrupt. We continue to suffer so they can continue to enjoy the percs of corruption.

  9. Pete Sessions is not a veteran. Sorry Pete but I am thinking that being an Eagle Scout, although an honorable thing in itself, is not the equivalent. Pete sessions is laughing in the face of every veteran in America and saying, I am not a veteran so I can have medical marijuana but because you chose to serve your country to protect MY freedoms you can not.

  10. This man allows the enemies of the United States to profit from the pain of veterans. He is obviously representing drug cartels and the criminal actions of the big pharma at the Direct expense of veterans. Why sir do you spit in the face of the men and women who protect the way of life you enjoy? …Many of us can no longer participate in life in any meaningful way and that sacrifice is met with a demand that we continue to suffer at the maximum level possible. Blocking vets access to even a small amount of relief from the suffering we endure every second of every day is by far the most inhumane act I have ever experienced. Far less humane than the acts that changed my brain forever because you trade that sacrifice and the even greater sacrifices of millions of veterans for some easy campaign contributions from criminals. Sir you are undeserving of the life granted to you by the sacrifices of so many and instead of making an effort to be worthy of them, you sell their suffering for your personal power. Representative Pete Sessions, you have shown yourself to be a vile human being.

    1. Call him and tell his office how you feel:

      Washington, DC Office

      2233 Rayburn House Office Building
      Washington, DC 20515-4332
      Phone: 202.225.2231
      Fax: 202.225.5878

      Dallas Office

      Lakeside Square 12377 Merit Dr
      Suite 750
      Dallas, TX 75251-2224
      Phone: 972.392.0505
      Fax: 972.392.0615

      Thank you for your service, John!

  11. Another amendment pertaining to veterans who work for the Veterans Affairs Department would have provided protections to veterans consume marijuana legally under state statute from losing their job as a result of a positive suspicionless drug test.

    It is cruel and unreasonable to have veterans live in fear of having to choose between their job and their medication.

    In response to Pete Sessions blocking this amendment, I suppose that as a VET seeking help for PTSD, ( or another medical symptom MMJ allegedly helps), I’ll cease to confide in my doctors after just beginning to start.
    The GOP is straddling both sides of the fence. Trump seeks the vote of those who “recognize” a State’s rights to regulate MMJ. At the same time the GOP still support denial of a right to employment because of positive THC test. The VA still seems to promise to test for THC those who seek employment therapy concerning PTSD. The Republican Congressman from the Southern, “backward”, state of Texas is effectively telling the VA how to treat the VETS in our most populous cities, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc., which predominantly vote Democratic. Illinois PTSD patients could have a better chance to effectively secure employment so long as a prospective employer does not test a PTSD patient for medical marijuana. The employer does not have a right to know that an individual is under doctor’s care for such treatment, either, because of potential discrimination concerns.
    Further studies may reveal marijuana helpful for other mental “illness” situations such as tendency towards panic-disorder seizures, or other psychological, neurological conditions still not fully understood.
    It is strange right wing politicians are such “know-it-alls” that they can easily label as evil the therapeutic use of medical marijuana even when a majority of the population has finally reformed the perspective to one of tolerance.

  12. If a doctor prescribes it for a medically acceptable condition why should Veterans be told no they can not use it in their treatment? That veteran would be required to attend scheduled Dr. appointments at the VA Hospital for medical monitoring. Therefore there is no drug abuse occurring. It is a wonderful medicine for so many untreatable medical conditions such as the horrors of PTSD. What caring politician would say no to a qualified Doctor working to help the ill with MJ instead of morphine, methadone etc if MJ works for that Dr.’s patient and is monitored by a VA DOCTOR?

  13. Sessions. Both of them are pushing there own agenda and this is America not sessions land. So pls stop ruining peoples lives by punishing them for being happy. As a Veteran not everyone’s experience is the same. So don’t blame them or shame them, help them be happy. F.Y.I. Marijuana helps people be happy! Dumbasses.

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