Veterans Medical Marijuana Protected Harbor Act reinstated

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), along with the two Chairs of the Cannabis Caucus of Congress, Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Dave Joyce (R-OH), re-approved Safe Harbor for Veterans Medical Marijuana (p 1183) introduced / HR 2588), bipartisan legislation to expand and facilitate access of medical cannabis to military veterans suffering from chronic pain, PTSD and other serious medical conditions.

Currently, VA doctors are prohibited from providing the documentation needed to complete a referral, forcing military veterans to seek advice from a private doctor outside the network. The passage of either of these bills would lift this ban.

In previous Congressional sessions, majorities in both the US House of Representatives and Senate voted to include similar language as part of the Law on Funding for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Allied Agencies. However, the Republicans who sat on the House Appropriations Committee decided to remove the language from the bill during a vote on approval.

Veterans are increasingly turning to medical cannabis as an effective alternative to opioids and other conventional drugs. A retrospective review of patient symptoms published in 2014 in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found a reduction in CAPS (Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Scale) symptom scores by more than 75 percent after cannabis therapy.

A survey conducted by The American Legion found that nearly one in four veterans themselves reported using marijuana to relieve a medical or physical condition, and four in ten said they “knew” a veteran who used cannabis medicinally.

Our veterans deserve the opportunity to legally access a botanical product that is objectively safer than the litany of medicinal products it could replace.

Send a message to your federal legislature in support of the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act.

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