Bipartisan Congressmen Urge Support For Medical Marijuana Bill For Military Veterans They’ll Be Introducing Soon
A bipartisan push to provide military veterans with access to medical marijuana is underway again, with the sponsors of a reform proposal circulating a letter to congressional colleagues on Wednesday asking them to support the legislation, which they plan to introduce in Congress soon. The Veterans Equal Access Act from Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Mast (R-FL), both co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, would allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it’s legal. In a Dear Colleague letter that was distributed to other House offices and shared with Marijuana Moment, the sponsors said the legislation would “provide equal access to state-legal medical cannabis for veterans.” “Most states with state-legal medical cannabis programs require some sort of recommendation or approval from a medical provider for patients to enroll in the program,” it says. “However, VA policy prevents VA physicians and care providers from any participation, including helping with the required paperwork or forms.” “This forces veterans to seek care outside of the VA system to receive their medical cannabis recommendations, which can interrupt continuity of care, lead to mistakes or gaps in care, and require veterans to pay out of pocket for addition physician visits. VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer a recommendation that they think may meet the needs of their patients. Veterans should not be forced outside the VA system to seek treatment that is legal in their state.” The reform, which is identical to committee-approved versions from past years and also cosponsored by Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), was previously pursued through the appropriations process as an amendment—but lawmakers have shifted gears to focus on the standalone bill following pushback from VA, which has consistently opposed modest…
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Source : Bipartisan Congressmen Urge Support For Medical Marijuana Bill For Military Veterans They’ll Be Introducing Soon
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