Kaine Introduces Bill To Allow Veterans To Access Medical Marijuana Through The VA

VIRGINIA: U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, joined Senator Brian Schatz to introduce legislation to allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discuss and potentially recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states that have established medical marijuana programs. The bill will create a temporary, five-year safe harbor protection for veterans who use medical marijuana and their doctors and direct the VA to research the effects of medical marijuana on veterans in pain as well as the relationship between medical marijuana programs and a potential reduction in opioid abuse among veterans.

“Right now, in the 33 states where it is legal, doctors may recommend medical marijuana to help eligible patients. Our bill ensures that doctors who work for the Department of Veterans Affairs can discuss and potentially recommend medical marijuana to their patients that are veterans in accordance with state law. To do otherwise amounts to unfairly punishing the men and women who served in our military. The bill would also take an important step in further exploring whether medical marijuana can be a viable tool to help veterans in pain and reduce opioid abuse,” Kaine said.

The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act is supported by the American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Pain Society, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Veterans Cannabis Coalition, Veterans Medical Cannabis Association, NORML, National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), Americans for Safe Association, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance, and Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

“Our members have spoken loud and clear on this issue,” said Tom Porter, Legislative Director for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  “Eighty-three percent of respondents to our recently-released member survey approved of cannabis use for medicinal purposes. With such overwhelming support, we need to be removing barriers to care for veterans, not maintaining them. IAVA applauds Sen. Schatz for introducing the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act to do just that.”

“When nearly one in four veterans report that they are consuming cannabis for therapeutic purposes, The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would provide crucial medical and civil protections for the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve this country. It is unconscionable that these brave individuals who stepped up to protect our nation’s freedoms would be treated as criminals when they return home simply for treating their medical ailments with a safe and effective option under state law,” said Justin Strekal, Political Director for NORML. “We applaud and appreciate the leadership by Senator Schatz in putting forward this legislation.”

Survey: Three Of Four Military Veterans Would Consider Using Medical Cannabis

NEW YORK: Seventy-five percent of military veterans say that they would consider using either “cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option,” according to member survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). The organization represents over 400,000 veterans nationwide.

Under existing federal regulations, physicians affiliated with the Department of Veteran Affairs are forbidden from providing medical cannabis recommendations, even in jurisdictions that legally permit private practitioners to do so.

Overall, 83 percent of respondents expressed support for legalizing medical cannabis access, and 68 percent believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs “should allow for research into cannabis as a treatment option.” Proposed federal legislation to direct the agency to conduct clinical trials on the use of cannabis for PTSD and for other conditions is currently pending in the US House and Senate.

Twenty percent of veterans surveyed acknowledged having previously used cannabis for medical purposes. Other studies have estimated that as many as 41 percent of veterans acknowledge having consumed cannabis for therapeutic purposes. Available data documents that cannabis is effective in the treatment of chronic pain and may potentially mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress, along with other conditions veterans commonly face.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at: (202) 483-5500. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana and Veterans Issues.”

Will A Federal Appellate Court In New York End Cannabis Prohibition?

By David Wenger, Esq.

NEW YORK: Should a 12-year-old girl in Colorado with intractable epilepsy be restricted to the boundaries of Colorado in order to have access to life-saving medical cannabis?

Alexis Bortell suffered from multiple daily seizures and nearly died in her disabled veteran father’s arms several times until she began using medical cannabis—since then, she has not had a seizure in four years. Should she be prevented from travelling with her medication, not receive in-state tuition rates because she was forced to move from Texas, and not receive any Veterans Benefits coverage for her medication?

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Should the parents of a 7-year old boy from Georgia be able to provide medical cannabis to him to keep him alive?

Jagger Cotte was diagnosed at age one with Leigh’s Disease, a rare congenital disease which kills 95 percent of afflicted babies by age four if diagnosed by age two. He became a one-year-old hospice patient, unable to speak, walk, masticate food, and otherwise handle daily activities. He began experiencing near-constant pain, shrieking in agony. Until he began treatment with medical cannabis. He suddenly stopped screaming in pain, has been able to interact with his parents, and against all medical odds, is still alive! Should Jagger’s parents face the Hobson’s choice of foregoing their son’s medical treatment and subjecting him to the uncompromisingly painful and ultimately fatal effects of his illness, or procuring and providing and traveling with medical cannabis for their son in violation of federal law?

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Should a Veteran machine-gunner from Florida who served in Iraq for 14 months be denied Veterans Administration access to the only medication that works for his PTSD?

Jose Belen witnessed severe close-range combat and watched several of his close-friends including his best friend and roommate die violently in front of him. He returned home broken, often suicidal, unable to forget the horrors of what he saw, and was declared mostly-disabled by PTSD. He started treating with medical cannabis—and is now able to cope with his PTSD and lead a productive life. Should the VA prescribe and pay for his medication after his service to the country?

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These are among the questions at stake in the federal appellate court case Washington v. Whitaker (formerly Washington v. Sessions, Case No. 18-859) argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule 1 classification of ‘marihuana.’ Schedule 1 requires a drug to have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment.” (21 U.S.C. § 812(b)(1)).

In the lower court, Southern District of New York Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein dismissed the Complaint challenging Schedule 1’s constitutionality, not on the merits, but on legal procedural grounds. He found that the Plaintiffs were required to exhaust their remedies through the administrative DEA rescheduling petitioning process, which the Plaintiffs claimed is futile. Judge Hellerstein wrote: “I emphasize that this decision is not on the merits of plaintiffs’ claim . . . this decision should not be understood as a factual finding that marijuana lacks any medical use in the United States . . .” (SDNY Case No. 17-cv-5625, Opinion & Order at 12). During the oral argument on February 14, 2018, Judge Hellerstein had said to Plaintiffs’ counsel Michael Hiller: “How could anyone say that your clients’ lives have not been saved by marijuana?”

Reacting to Judge Hellerstein’s decision on procedural grounds, Mr. Hiller commented:

“Resigning the plaintiffs to the petitioning administrative process is tantamount to a death sentence for those patients who need cannabis to live. The time has come for the courts to abandon decades-old precedent, notched with obsolete legal technicalities, and catch up with modern science and contemporary principles of constitutional law . . . . This case will continue to move forward. Notwithstanding the outcome today, we remain confident that the final disposition of this case will include a finding that the classification of cannabis under the [CSA] is unconstitutional – freeing millions of Americans to safely treat their conditions with a plant that maintains their health and their lives.”

On Wednesday December 12, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Dennis Jacobs, Guido Calabresi, and Jed Rakoff (by designation) listened intently to the constitutionality challenge to the Schedule 1 classification. Mr. Hiller told the Court that: 2.1 million patients across the United States rely on medical cannabis to treat illnesses and ailments; the Plaintiffs/Appellants’ ‘right to life’ is infringed by their inability to treat themselves with available medication; Judge Hellerstein had said there was no question on the merits; 33 states have legalized medical cannabis; and the US government holds numerous medical cannabis patents.

The questions and comments from the Panel of judges at oral argument were truly remarkable.

  • Judge Jacobs asked rhetorically: “We have a situation where one part of the government [FDA] said it’s a medicine and another part of the government [DEA] says it’s a crime to use?”
  • Judge Calabresi, citing how courts in other constitutional systems provide guidance to administrative agencies, asked: “Should the Court tell the FDA/DEA to expedite a review of cannabis, i.e. tell the agencies that Schedule 1 will be ruled unconstitutional so the agencies should take expedited action?” In response, Judge Jacobs said: “We might be able to rush it along.”
  • Judge Rakoff, known for making historic, transformative decisions, remarked: “The usefulness of cannabis for medicine has been known for decades.” He asked: “Why can’t the Court just take judicial notice that medical use of cannabis is proven?”

Despite these eye-opening remarks from the judges, the outcome at the Second Circuit is impossible to predict. Among potential outcomes, the Court may: affirm the lower court’s decision without a reasoned decision, affirm the lower court’s decision but with wording in line with Judge Calabresi’s suggestion urging the administrative agencies to reschedule, send the case back to the district court for a hearing on the merits, or as Judge Rakoff suggested the Court can take judicial notice that medical use of cannabis is proven and strike down Schedule 1 as unconstitutional for lack of any rational basis.

The timing is also unpredictable – a decision may issue within a week, usually within six months. Any outcome other than a remand to the lower Court will likely be placed before the Supreme Court.

Throughout history, the courts have been called upon to address fundamental social and societal questions. In instances where Congress and government agencies sometimes struggle to address these questions, the courts are often the source of change, such as with legalizing abortion and gay marriage.

The Second Circuit judges at the argument clearly fully appreciated the absurdity that is Schedule 1’s classification of cannabis. Watch closely.


David Wenger is a New York City attorney and specialist in the US cannabis industry. David is the author of the seminal White Paper on the industry, “The Green Regulatory Arbitrage: A Case For Investing In US Multi-State Vertically-Integrated Cannabis Companies,” published on New Cannabis Ventures. The Paper is available here.

First Ever Veterans-Focused Medical Bill Introduced In Senate

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) on Wednesday introduced legislation, The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, to expand and facilitate medical cannabis access to military veterans suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, and other serious medical conditions.

Under existing regulations, VA doctors are not permitted to fill out the mandatory paperwork necessary to recommend cannabis therapy in those 31 states that regulate it. Passage of The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act ends this discrimination against veterans and prevents sanctions against VA doctors who wish to recommend medical cannabis treatment to their patients. The Act also encourages the Veterans Administration to promulgate medical cannabis research, and appropriates funding for scientific studies.

A recent American Legion poll found that nearly one in four veterans use marijuana to alleviate a medical condition. A 2017 review of over 10,000 studies by the National Academy of Sciences concluded, “There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis and cannabinoids are effective for the treatment for chronic pain in adults.”

Similar legislation, The Veterans Equal Access Act (HR 1820) is pending in the House. You can contact your federal lawmakers in support of both of these bills using the NORML Action Alert.


more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500

VA Policy On Medical Marijuana And Veterans

 The VA Medical Cannabis Act of 2018 is not yet the law of the land. So what is the official VA policy on veterans using cannabis?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: As more states consider authorizing the medical use of marijuana, there has been a growing number of voices among the veteran community urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider its’ policies on medical cannabis.

These voices include Representative Phil Roe (R) of Tennessee and Representative Tim Walz (D) of Minnesota, who have introduced House Resolution 5520, The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.

H.R. 5520 would, if passed, authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to do medical marijuana research. Specifically, Congress.gov says the bill, “authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of certain forms of cannabis and cannabis delivery for veterans enrolled in the VA health care system diagnosed with conditions such as chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

As of June 2018, that legislation has been introduced only, but the fact that a bipartisan effort to create this policy happened at all is an indicator that American society is ready to discuss an end to the prohibition of cannabis, or at a minimum that it’s time to approve marijuana and hemp plant derivatives such as Cannabidiol (aka CBD) for use as medicine.

The VA Medical Cannabis Act of 2018 is not yet the law of the land. So what is the official VA policy on veterans using cannabis?

Official Defense Department Policy On Marijuana

The United States Department of Defense, which is responsible for policy for the United States Military, is NOT part of this discussion about medical marijuana. VA policy on the use of cannabis by the veteran population is not connected with the official DoD policies.

The Department of Defense maintains its’ marijuana prohibition on currently serving military members, and military recruiters are required to use discretion when interviewing potential new recruits about possible drug use prior to military service.

At one time, the recreational use of marijuana or its’ derivatives could be grounds for rejecting a new recruit. However, recruiters do not have to bar the enlistment of those with minor pot experimentation at the time of this writing. Instead, the recruiter may, at his or her discretion, apply for a waiver for such recruits.

All new recruits are advised that there is a zero tolerance for any illegal substance abuse issues in the military. Those who test positive for illegal drugs or illegally used prescription drugs are subject to punishment and possible discharge from the military.


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Department Of Veterans Affairs Policy On Medical Marijuana

The issues facing veterans who use pot while seeking treatment from the VA are more complex. Those who use marijuana to relieve symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other service-connected medical issues may be afraid to discuss this with a VA care provider out of fear that their VA benefits may be in jeopardy for doing so.

What is the reality? The VA official site states clearly that any substance that is illegal on the federal level is NOT permitted to be used, recommended, prescribed, or endorsed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, up to and including the recommendation that veterans use pot to alleviate symptoms or pain.

Under the policies active at the time of this writing, any substance listed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a Schedule One controlled substance are subject to this prohibition at the VA level.

As more states consider authorizing the medical use of marijuana, there has been a growing number of voices among the veteran community urging the Department of Veterans Affairs to reconsider its’ policies on medical cannabis.

These voices include Representative Phil Roe (R) of Tennessee and Representative Tim Walz (D) of Minnesota, who have introduced House Resolution 5520, The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018.

H.R. 5520 would, if passed, authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs to do medical marijuana research. Specifically, Congress.gov says the bill, “authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of certain forms of cannabis and cannabis delivery for veterans enrolled in the VA health care system diagnosed with conditions such as chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder.”

How to Use CBD As A Sleep Aid

By Winston Peki, Herbonaut

Sleep problems are common and can adversely impact your life. Many people take medication to help them sleep better. Medication can help you fall asleep, but you don’t always wake up feeling great as you may not have had the right kind of sleep.

A great night’s rest is vitally important to our health. Sleep affects our physiology in some ways, from hormone levels and mood to weight. Recently, people have discovered the benefits of CBD to help them get a good nights’ rest.

chronic-insomniaWhat Is Insomnia and What Can It Do to You?

Among sleep problems, insomnia is one of the most often reported. The prevalence of insomnia in the U.S., for example, has increased from 17.5% in 2002 to 19.2% in 2016, affecting 46.2 million people.

A variety of conditions can cause insomnia such as psychological stress, chronic pain, heart failure, hyperthyroidism or even menopause. Even people who have never had problems falling asleep can eventually develop insomnia.

Individuals experiencing insomnia feel tired, depressed, have low energy levels and feel sleepy the following day.  For chronic insomnia, medical intervention is necessary, and medication is usually prescribed to help these people restore their natural sleep patterns.

Introducing the CCC

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis and Cannabidiol

Cannabis is a plant. It is also known by its derivatives: Marijuana, hashish or hash (dried leaves, dried resin, or extracted oil, respectively). Archeological and other evidence suggests that man has been using cannabis for medicinal purposes for more than 5,000 years.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabis compounds that has been extensively studied because it is not psychoactive, while having enormous medical benefits. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, that is the main compound associated with the “high” effect of cannabis, CBD is associated with anti-epileptic, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.

The oldest reported use of this drug seems to be associated with pain. Ancient written records record the use of cannabis extracts to relieve pain before 2900 B.C.

Cannabidiol and its use as a sleep aid

Science has recently determined that CBD has potential to treat insomnia. Researchers have published several studies regarding the positive effects of CBD in treating various kinds of sleep disorders.

The dosage seems to relate directly to the sort of effect CBD has on an individual. While a low dose appears to be associated with a stimulating effect, high doses have a more sedative effect.

The effect of CBD in animal models has found that CBD, in high doses, can lead to an increase in restful sleep. Another study has also shown that CBD can block anxiety-induced REM sleep suppression.

Human Clinical Trials and User Reports

Although most of the studies thus far have been performed on animals, there are already some clinical trials in progress to measure the therapeutic effect of CBD in treating insomnia in humans.

In a study among individuals with insomnia, an administration of 160mg/day of CBD led to an increase of the total sleep time and a decrease of the wakening episodes.

The administration of CBD oil in test subjects has not only reduced the after effects of insomnia but also minimized PTSD-related sleep disturbances in subjects suffering from this disorder.

There has been a surge during the last several years in the use of CBD by military veterans suffering from the debilitating effects of PTSD. Unsubstantiated, although numerous, reports suggest that there is a marked decrease in PTSD symptoms among CBD users.

Apart from insomnia, clinical trials have reported positive results of treating other sleep problems with CBD.

For instance, REM behavior disorder, which is parasomnia in which individuals lose muscle rigidity during sleep, has also been described to improve when treated with CBD.

Dosage and Forms of CBD

The dosage of CBD is critical when deciding treatment. While low doses generally lead to wakefulness, medium-to-high doses are associated with sedative effects and better sleep quality. Although it isn’t clear yet the right amount of CBD that can improve sleep, 15mg/day is generally considered a low dose, while most experts consider 100mg/day a high dose.

There are already several forms of CBD. For instance, CBD can be taken by smoking, as capsules, as sublingual CBD hemp oil and pure CBD crystals.

Final Thoughts

There are several reasons why CBD is an excellent choice as a sleep aid. Users report waking up refreshed and without the typical foggy mental effects noticeable when someone does not get a good night’s sleep.

CBD advocates claim they are more focused, calm and ready to address the day’s challenges without the debilitating effects of insomnia.

 

Veterans Push For A Federal Study Of Hemp In Hopes Of Stemming Opioid Prescriptions At VA Facilities

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A group of United States Armed Forces Veterans descended on the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, April 17 to meet with members of the Cannabis Caucus and the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Their request is an urgent call for change in medical treatment options for Veterans: stop the dependency on opioids and compel the Veterans’ Affairs Administration to study CBD derived from industrial hemp as a legal alternative to opioids, the go-to drug in masking a variety of medical conditions.

Steve Danyluk, who spearheaded the legislative meeting with Veterans, is retired from the Marine Corps Reserves. His last position was working wounded issues at Walter Reed and Bethesda. That is where he became very troubled by what he saw.

“I witnessed what I believe is a policy of overmedicating wounded service men and women with opiates and other toxic medications, which led me to establish Warfighter Hemp,” said Steve Danyluk, LtCol, USMCR (RET.) and founder Warfighter Hemp. “CBD derived from Industrial Hemp provides much of the relief that these Veterans seek, at a fraction of the cost, without the psychoactive side effects, making it an ideal alternative to the various psychotropic and toxic medications in the VA’s dispensary. We welcomed the opportunity to share our CBD stories with legislators.”

Danyluk, along with three Veterans from Minnesota and Virginia, met with Congressman Jared Polis (D) Colorado, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D) Oregon, and representatives from the offices of combat Veteran Congressman Moulton (D) Massachuetts, Congressman Don Young (R) Alaska, and Congressman Tim Walz (D) Minnesota. The group met individually with Congressman Brian Mast (R) Florida, himself a combat Veteran, along with an aide for Congressman Scott Peters (D) Ohio.

The group requested legislators sign a letter to Acting Secretary Robert Wilke, Department of Veterans Affairs, asking him to green light a study into CBD derived from Industrial Hemp.

 

 

Israel’s Tikun Olam Continues U.S. Expansion

Deal with DC Cultivator Alternative Solutions Brings Renowned Cannabis Products to the Nation’s Capital 

NEW YORK:  Tikun Olam, a leading Israeli cannabis brand and pioneer in cannabis research, continues its U.S. expansion by partnering with Washington DC cultivator Alternative Solutions. The just-inked licensing deal allows Alternative Solutions to grow, manufacture and distribute Tikunbranded products to all five District of Columbia dispensaries.

Tikun Olam’s award-winning premium cannabis products are backed by years of peer-reviewed scientific research and unprecedented clinical data collection, which has shown to deliver symptomatic relief to those suffering from specific conditions such as cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease/Colitis, chronic pain and neuropathy, to name a few. At the  held November 30 in Toronto, Tikun strains took First place in three categories: Top High THC Flower (Eran Almog), Top High CBD Flower  (Avidekel), and Top High CDB Oil (Avidekel), in addition to placing Second in Top Hybrid Flower (Midnight). Tikun’s full line of proprietary strain products–from flower, vape, topicals and tinctures–will be available in Washington DC  beginning in 2018.

“Alternative Solutions is thrilled to be Tikun Olam’s exclusive partner in DC,” says Matt Lawson-Baker, COO of Alternative Solutions. “We look forward to making Tikun’s products available at all DC dispensaries, giving access to these clinically proven strains to the more than 5,600 registered MMJ patients in Washington DC.”

The new five-year deal with Alternative Solutions is the latest in a series of licensing agreements struck since Tikun’s U.S. launch in 2015 in Delaware. The recent announcement with the MariMed cannabis network will introduce Tikun’s exclusive strains and products in medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois in 2018. Tikun™ products also launched in Nevada in March 2017 and in Washington State in November.

Survey: More Than One In Five Military Vets Uses Cannabis Medicinally

INDIANA:  More than one in five military veterans engage in the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, according to nationwide survey data conducted on behalf of The American Legion. The Legion is the largest veterans’ advocacy organization in the United States.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said they “use cannabis to treat a mental or physical condition.” Thirty-nine percent affirmed they “know a veteran” who is using it medicinally. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they support legalizing medical cannabis federally.

Previously published survey data reports that military veterans consume medical cannabis at rates greater than those of the general population, often using it as an alternative to conventional medications in the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress.

In late October, Democrat members of the US House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs authored a letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin demanding that the agency facilitate protocols to assess the efficacy of medical cannabis in veterans.

In September, representatives from The American Legion addressed a separate letter to VA Secretary Shulkin encouraging the federal agency to assist in an ongoing FDA-approved clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of various strains of cannabis in veterans with PTSD. To date, the VA has refused to assist in patient recruitment for the trial. The VA has yet to publicly respond to either letter.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

American Legion Supports Expanding Veterans Access To Medical Cannabis

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has adopted a resolution calling on federal officials to expand veterans’ access to medical marijuana.

The resolution, passed last week at the Legion’s annual convention, urges the “United States government to permit V.A. medical providers to be able to discuss with veterans the use of marijuana for medical purposes and recommend it in those states where medical marijuana laws exist.”

The language is similar to pending legislation in Congress, H.R. 1820: The Veterans Equal Access Act. In July, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 24 to 7 to include similar language as an amendment to the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Identical language in the House was blocked from consideration by House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions(R-TX).

Last year, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 MilCon-VA bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee elected to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

Federal policy prohibits V.A. doctors – including those residing in legal medical cannabis states – from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician.

Both the American Legion and AMVETS issued public calls last year in support of federal marijuana law reforms. Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional medications to treat conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.