The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that would allow Veterans Affairs physicians to recommend medical marijuana use for debilitating conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
The measure, sponsored by Democratic Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon is attached to the Senate version of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, and would undo a 2009 prohibition banning VA doctors from even suggesting medical weed to their patients.
Even though 23 states, including ours, have legalized medical ganja, it is still considered a controlled substance in the eyes of the feds.
Here's a statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers came together and passed broadly supported marijuana policy reform. This is exactly how most Americans want Congress to handle this issue. Hopefully we are reaching a point at which it is becoming the norm, rather than the exception. The pace at which support appears to be growing in the Senate is particularly encouraging.
The U.S. House rejected a similar amendment
“Doctors should never be prohibited from helping their patients obtain the best possible medical treatment. Many veterans are finding that medical marijuana is the most effective treatment for PTSD and other service-related medical conditions. Finally, Congress is working to remove barriers to accessing it rather than building them.”
last month by a very narrow vote. It's, again, up to the chamber to pass or kill this measure.