U.S. Senate Committee Approves Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that allows Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where the medicine has been legalized.

The amendment was approved with a bipartisan 24 to 7 vote (with even a majority of Republicans voting in favor, 9 to 7); it’s attached to a larger spending bill that funds the VA. The amendment allows VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients in states where its legal, changing current policy which prohibits “V.A. providers from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a Veteran’s participation in a State marijuana program.”

Last year a similar amendment was passed by a 20 to 10 vote, following by a 233 to 189 vote in the House. However, the amendment was eventually removed from the larger bill it was attached to before becoming law.

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Survey: Military Veterans Strongly Support Medical Cannabis Legalization

military veteransAccording to the 7th annual membership survey of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, a strong majority of military veterans believe that medical cannabis should be legal, and an even higher percentage believes that Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians should be free to recommend cannabis for medical use.

The survey found that 68% veterans “support the legalization of medical marijuana in their state”, with just 20% opposed. An even higher percentage – 75% – believe the VA “should allow medical marijuana as a treatment option where warranted.”

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