Many war veterans claim that medical cannabis helps them to regulate disturbing flashbacks and recurring nightmares, and finally, the feds are listening.
While cannabis has been legalized for medical use across state lines for years now, it is still illegal and classed as a Schedule I drug at the federal level. This means that access to cannabis for vets has been problematic for years, not least because most soldiers are conscientious types, and don’t want to be on the wrong side of the law.
However, the latest move, hailed a ‘great success for vets,’ means that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has adopted an amendment to allow military veterans to obtain cannabis through the Department of Veterans Affairs direct.
While there is still a bunch of opposition for medical cannabis, mainly from the more conservative types within the Trump administration, a growing number of senators and House members represent constituents who have voted to enact medical cannabis, and these people must listen to their constituents.
The new amendment, sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR,) will allow vets to enter state medical cannabis programs without fear of losing their military benefits or being on the wrong side of the law.
The vote passed last year, but was put on hold due to a special committee addendum at the time, but has since been reversed. A number of Republicans who previously voted no, changed their minds on Thursday, meaning that the amendment can pass, and go into effect.
One medical cannabis proponent, Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told reporters,
“IT IS TIME FOR CONGRESS TO PASS PERMANENT LEGISLATION, SUCH AS THE CARERS ACT THAT PROVIDES PROTECTIONS FOR ALL OF THE OVER 2 MILLION MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS IN THIS COUNTRY. I AM HAPPY TO KNOW THAT A MAJORITY OF THIS COMMITTEE IS SUPPORTIVE OF PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF VETERANS.”
For now, veterans are thrilled as they no longer need to worry about a conflict between their own state’s laws and those at the Federal level. As Michael Krawitz of Veterans for Medical Cannabis said, “The Veteran community should be able to participate in state medical cannabis programs without fear of losing their VA benefits or services.”
It still remains to be seen how this new amendment will be effectively implemented in order to make it useful and worthwhile for veterans, but the fact that they no longer need to worry about legal issues bodes extremely well for the future.
In order to see if you qualify, check out the Veterans Medical Cannabis guidelines.
[Image credit- Pixabay]