Congress Strikes Veteran Medical Cannabis Provision From Funding Bill

Congress Strikes Veteran Medical Cannabis Provision From Funding Bill

A congressional committee negotiating the details of funding legislation for the Veterans Affairs Department decided not to include recently approved Senate provision that would have allowed veterans to receive medical marijuana recommendations from their government doctors.

Under a bill to fund the VA for 2019 that was approved by the Senate with an 85-to-5 vote in June, the department would not have been able to spend any money to enforce its internal prohibition on VA doctors to fill out medical cannabis forms for veterans in states where it is legal, reported Marijuana Moment.

House Republican leaders proceeded to block their colleagues from being able to vote on the legislation, which was up for discussion by a bicameral panel tasked with merging the proposals into a single bill.

They chose, however, not to include the cannabis provision in the final legislation released on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

“Denying veterans the care they need by the doctors they trust is shameful,” Oregon Democrat, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, told Marijuana Moment.

“The Senate passed this amendment. It has broad bipartisan support in the House. This should have been a no brainer. Yet, Republican leadership has once again stymied progress toward fair and equal treatment for our veterans,” said Blumenauer, a long time advocate of veterans’ medical cannabis.

“Their continued neglect of commonsense and the will of the American people is a disgrace.”

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