Veteran Access to Medical Marijuana Effort Fails in Congress

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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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