Two bills dealing with access to medical marijuana by veterans are slated to be voted on by a congressional committee today (Wednesday, May 8). This vote comes barely a week after the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee of Health conducted a hearing on the bills.
One of the bills up for a vote has to do with allowing VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. This bill also seeks to codify into law an existing policy which protects the VA benefits of veterans who use medical cannabis in accordance with state law.
The second bill that will be voted on seeks to compel the VA department to conduct research about the medicinal effects of cannabis for the common conditions which veterans suffer from. These include post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.
A third bill which isn’t going to be voted on focused on allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans who can be helped by the substance. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenaeuer, will not be voted on because its contents are already included in another bill that has been scheduled for a vote.
The broader bill also includes a clause which stops VA doctors from making medical records that state that a veteran suffers from “substance abuse disorder” if that individual uses cannabis in a state where marijuana is legal.
Another clause which was added to that bill asks the VA secretary to generate new diagnostic codes tailored to cannabis use.
Advocates have urged the Veterans’ Affairs committee to take action now so that veterans no longer have to go underground to access medical cannabis to relieve their symptoms. The advocates added that medical marijuana is here to stay, so there is no point in continuing to think along prohibitionist lines.
These bills to be voted upon mark yet another step in the push to reform federal marijuana laws. In March, another House committee passed a bill which intends to protect banks from federal prosecution resulting from the banks’ dealings with state-legal marijuana companies.
These bills being fronted in different House committees are in line with the “blueprint” designed by Rep. Blumenaeuer last year. In that blueprint, the congressman urged different committees to push through marijuana law reforms that fall in the ambit of their committees so that at the end of that process, the overall federal marijuana policy will have been overhauled.
Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) hope that the bills are passed by the House committee and the entire Congress so that the men and women who have served this nation in the armed forces access medical marijuana in their time of need.
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