U.S. House Amends Military Spending Bill to Let VA Doctors Recommend Medical Cannabis

The U.S. House voted this week to add an amendment to the must-pass federal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would end the prohibition on VA providers helping veterans to access state-legal medical cannabis programs.

Full story after the jump.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to add an amendment to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to end the Veteran Administration’s (VA) prohibition on providers assisting military veterans in accessing state-legal medical cannabis.  

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), passed unanimously by a voice vote. Blumenauer is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. 

“Medical cannabis literally saves lives. It is shameful that we continue to force veterans to seek care outside of the VA to access the therapeutic potential of this source of relief. Today, the House took a critically overdue step to remedy this disservice to veterans and begin to heal the impacts of the war on drugs on our nation’s veterans.” — Blumenauer in a press release 

Blumenauer was successful in getting a similar amendment on the 2016 version of the NDAA to pass the House and Senate in 2016, only to see the policy removed from final negotiations. 

Earlier this month, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced an amendment to the NDAA that would end cannabis testing for military members. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) also introduced an amendment that would allow military members to possess, use, or consume any product containing hemp; and Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), proposed an amendment that would prohibit the denial of security clearances by an agency if an individual used cannabis in a state where it is legalized. 

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