Veteran Access to Medical Marijuana Effort Fails in Congress

September 30, 2016

An effort to allow veterans to access medical marijuana in states where it’s legal died Wednesday night when Congress passed a spending bill without the provision included.

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment would have nullified a Department of Veterans Affairs standard that keeps its doctors from recommending medical cannabis as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, pain and other conditions experienced by veterans. Veterans currently seeking medical pot must obtain a doctor’s recommendation outside of the VA system and pay the expense out of pocket.

The amendment, authored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), passed both chambers of Congress earlier this year as part of a spending package funding the Veterans Affairs department.

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