Military Veterans Could Discuss State Marijuana Programs With VA Doctors Under New Bipartisan Congressional Bill

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A bipartisan duo introduced a congressional bill on Friday that would make clear that U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors can discuss state-legal marijuana programs with veterans. Reps. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI) filed the legislation—titled the Fully Informed Veteran Act—which would allowing VA doctors to provide basic information and resources about state-legal cannabis programs to veterans. As far as veteran and marijuana-specific legislation is concerned, this is an especially modest reform. The VA secretary “shall authorize physicians and other health care providers of the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide to veterans who are residents of States with State-approved marijuana programs information regarding the participation of such veterans in such programs,” the text states. “Information” is defined as “informational materials, Internet website, and relevant contact information for State-approved marijuana program.” The legislation would not allow VA physicians to actually issue recommendations to veterans to participate in those state programs, however. Under current VA administrative policies, the department’s doctors are currently allowed to discuss cannabis with patients and document their usage in medical records, and those veteran patients are already shielded from losing their benefits for marijuana use—but the new bill would enshrine into law a more basic policy on providing information about cannabis programs for those who live in areas where it’s legal. This comes as several bills to end federal cannabis prohibition are being drafted and introduced this session. Most recently, a measure that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives last year to legalize marijuana and promote social equity was refiled by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). While Lamb is sponsoring this veterans-focused medical cannabis legislation, it remains to be seen where he would come down on that broader reform given that he was among very few Democratic lawmakers…

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Source : Military Veterans Could Discuss State Marijuana Programs With VA Doctors Under New Bipartisan Congressional Bill

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