Hat tip to CJT.
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The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both took action to increase military veterans’ access to medical marijuana on Thursday.
By a vote of 89-8, senators approved a bill containing language preventing the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) from spending money to enforce a current policy that prohibits its government doctors from filling out medical marijuana recommendation forms in states where the drug is legal.
The House approved an amendment to accomplish the same goal by a vote of 233-189 earlier in the day.
“We are pleased that both the House and Senate have made it clear that the Veterans Administration should not punish doctors for recommending medical cannabis to their veteran patients,” Mike Liszewski, government affairs director for Americans for Safe Access (ASA), told Marijuana.com. “Combat veterans are disproportionately affected by several conditions that medical cannabis can effectively treat, including chronic pain, PTSD and traumatic brain injury. We anticipate this amendment will reach the president, and once signed, it will give V.A. physicians another tool in their toolbox to treat the healthcare needs of America’s veterans.”
The provisions are now part of a larger bills to fund the V.A. and other government agencies through next year. The medical cannabis language was attached to the Senate legislation last month in bipartisan vote of 20-10 in the Appropriations Committee, and did not require a separate vote on the floor.