The benefits of medical cannabis have been well-established but lawmakers continue to refuse to make common sense changes that could allow sick veterans access to this beneficial treatment option. This May, an amendment was voted down by the House of Representatives that would have opened the door to allow veterans to discuss medical cannabis with their doctors in states like California that have legalized the substance for medicinal use.
Unbelievably, under the current law, veterans and their doctors are not even permitted to discuss the possibility that medical marijuana could be a helpful treatment. Depriving sick vets of the care they need shows just how ideological the attitudes of some lawmakers are towards medical marijuana. It is attitudes like this that result in medical marijuana providers facing prosecutions that are often unjust and that make it so important to be represented by a qualified Los Angeles medical marijuana lawyer if you are in the cannabis industry.
Veterans Denied The Ability to Discuss Medical Marijuana
According to the Huffington Post, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced an amendment on May 1 that would have altered the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Appropriates Act in order to pen the door to permit qualified veterans easier access to medical cannabis.
There are currently 21 states, as well as Washington D.C., where medical marijuana is used by thousands of patients suffering from health conditions. Despite this, the Department of Veterans Affairs currently has a ban in place that prevents physicians working in VA hospitals from recommending medical marijuana to veterans.
The amendment itself didn’t go far enough to allow access to medication, and yet it still did not pass. The amendment would not have even allowed VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, nor to provide cannabis substances to patients. All the amendment would have done was to make it possible for VA doctors to talk to their patients about the possibility of cannabis as a treatment option.
Because the amendment did not pass, the status quo remains in effect and VA funding is unwittingly being used to implement prohibitions against medical marijuana. As Blumenauer said after the amendment was defeated “It’s inexplicable and inexcusable that VA doctors can’t answer their patients’ questions and give their best advice.”
The amendment was voted down by a 225-195 vote after a vigorous floor debate. Twenty-two Republicans voted for the amendment and 18 Democrats voted against it.
The outcome was especially upsetting given the fact that medical marijuana is currently being studied as a possible treatment method for veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As many as 20 percent of soldiers who served in the recent Afghanistan and Iraq wars may suffer from PTSD and will now not even be able to discuss a possible method of treating this condition with their physicians.
Until politicians’ attitudes changes toward marijuana, real progress is stalled in making cannabis available to everyone who needs it. Lawmakers need to catch up to public opinion and put the needs of patients, rather than ideology, first so that doctors will be allowed to do their jobs and provide the very best care.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
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