The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on Thursday advanced two bills related to medical marijuana use for veterans.
The first measure, sponsored by Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to research the effects of medical-grade marijuana on the health outcomes of veterans with conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The committee adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) that would prevent veterans’ health care facilities from denying benefits to patients who use medical marijuana in states where it is legal.
Both the amendment and overall bill were adopted unanimously by voice vote.
The second measure, sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), would permit VA providers to offer recommendations to patients who are interested in participating in state marijuana programs.
That bill advanced on a 15-11 party-line vote. While the legislation is likely to pass the Democratic-controlled House if it gets a floor vote, the measure faces long odds in the GOP-controlled Senate.
VA providers currently cannot discuss medical marijuana as a form of treatment for veterans, even in states that allow for medical marijuana.
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medicinal purposes. [Read more at The Hill]
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