Senate Bill 271 does include language requiring the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center and the Southern University Agricultural Center to decide whether or not they wish to seek licensing to grow medical marijuana for the state's program by September 2, 2016. The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, introduced by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from OR, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, strikes down a Department of Veterans Affairs prohibition on VA doctors recommending medical marijuana as treatment for veterans who have chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions, the HuffPost writes.
Veterans' access to medical marijuana is now in the hands of congress-the same body that sent them to war.
The House and Senate on Thursday approved amendments to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill that should ease access to medical marijuana for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), serious wounds, and other debilitating conditions. Under present law, V.A. physicians are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary for veterans to access medical cannabis in states that permit its therapeutic use. Arguments for medical marijuana are getting a warmer reception from lawmakers amid nationwide concerns about overuse and abuse of prescription painkillers and psychotropic drugs.
Sisley says marijuana can be used to treat post-traumatic stress, MS, chronic pain, and other ailments.
After today's votes, the two chambers will take up reconciling and differences between the two versions of the appropriations bills before sending them to the president.
Currently, veterans seeking medical cannabis treatment must do so outside the VA system, which can be expensive and hard for many.
Now veterans seeking medical marijuana had to pay for it out of their own pocket, outside of the VA system.
Medical weed is legal in a total of 24 states and the District of Columbia.
"Can cannabis help curb the epidemic of veteran suicide?". It would only free doctors to talk about it with their patients.
"I'm convinced within five years, everybody in America will have access to some form of medical marijuana", he said.
Patricia Kime covers military and veterans health care and medicine for Military Times. "Congress has recognized our right to heal". While the movement is certainly picking up momentum, thousands of vets continue to suffer without access to medical marijuana, in spite of its growing availability in states across the country.
Marijuana advocacy groups praised the vote as significant progress for veterans.