GOP Lawmakers Block Popular Bill To Allow Medical Marijuana For Veterans

By Aaron Kesel

Yesterday, Republican lawmakers blocked a bipartisan proposal designed to allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana as a substitute to big pharma’s opioids where the drug is legal for veterans.

The House Committee stopped the “Veterans Equal Access” amendment from moving to debate on the House floor by keeping the measure out of the VA funding bill for next year.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore), said in a statement he was “bitterly disappointed” on the failure to amend the proposed legislation. Confused about its failure despite bipartisan support of 9 Democrats and 9 Republicans Blumenauer said “somehow the 13 member House Rules Committee decided it wasn’t going to allow this amendment.”

“This is a subject that has gained a great deal more attention and momentum,” Blumenauer told McClatchy. “More people recognize that the VA has really failed our veterans when it has come to pain management, opioids, and opioid dependency.”

The move was a blow to advocates of medical pot who have been trying to get the measure through a divided Congress and lowers the chances that a law might be passed this year.

This isn’t the first time the bill was halted by Republicans. Blumenauer introduced the same amendment in 2016 which passed the House by a 233-189 vote. While it’s similar measure in the Senate also passed overwhelmingly with the support of 89-8 votes in favor of the bill. Yet the amendment eventually disappeared from the final version of the larger appropriations bill.

“It’s outrageous that it was removed” from the annual VA budget bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, said in a joint statement last year. “To add insult to injury, the legislation was released in the middle of the night, not even giving members of the House an opportunity to review the language before voting on it.”

However, hope is not lost; the Senate’s fiscal 2018 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill contains a similar provision, so the fight isn’t over yet. And the congressman, founder of the “Congressional Cannabis Caucus,” is hoping for a different outcome this year.

“This isn’t going away. I think there’s an outstanding chance it happens this Congress, as veterans become more and more outspoken about why they shouldn’t be treated like second class citizens,” he said.

Although medical marijuana is legal in 29 states plus the District of Columbia, it’s still considered to be a Schedule 1 drug and VA doctors can’t legally prescribe it to patients.

Medical marijuana is used as a treatment of glaucoma, cancer, HIV and other health conditions. Veterans are also looking at it to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, which might affect about 20 percent of the 1.8 million service members who were deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Center for PTSD.

In late May, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin admitted that medical marijuana could help veterans.

“There may be some evidence that this is beginning to be helpful and we’re interested in looking at that and learning from that,” Shulkin told reporters, pointing to states where medical pot is legal.

Veterans groups like the American Legion, Weed for Warriors and the Veterans Cannabis Project have been pressuring lawmakers and the VA to rethink its marijuana policies.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Follow us at Twitter and Steemit. This article is Creative Commons and can be republished in full with attribution.


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29 Comments on "GOP Lawmakers Block Popular Bill To Allow Medical Marijuana For Veterans"

  1. McGannahan Skyjellyfetti | July 27, 2017 at 9:32 am | Reply

    Corporate Pharmaceuticals are getting returns on their bribe monies.

  2. NobodysaysBOO | July 27, 2017 at 9:42 am | Reply

    congress is in for a BIG CHANGE at the MID-TERM ELECTIONS these sold out CRIMINALS will be REPLACED with MAGA troops!

  3. As it’s said, there is no Repub/Demo parties . Both are the same damned pork barrel bast_rds and is where the true enemy lies as far as being a puppet for the manipulators and office oath violators.
    When I read or hear some Boobus Americanus mewling that ” Trump isn’t keeping his promises ” I cringe as one more ignorant slave here doesn’t have a clue but is allowed to vote stupid is as stupid does.
    An ignorant people have never been nor can they be free.
    A man that doesn’t have an ordered system of thought will always be at the mercy of a man that has one.
    Between the Libtard socialist and the self proclaimed republicans they are doing all they can to get rid of Trump and his policies to turn this nation around. The scores that came out of the woodwork to vote Trump in against all odds of the deep state are quietly sucking their thumb in the corner again wanting to be cared for instead of supporting with time, talent, and treasury the founding of American can do attitude and liberty within a Republic. No. the Russians didn’t elect Trump and those that parrot this absurdity are the worst type of citizen dumbas_es on the planet led around by silly emotions played by the the corrupted, foreign owned media. Check the origins of the owners of your lying media and see who benefits from your blind state of being? Check out the list of dual citizens in 100 important office positions daily bringing this nation down.
    We need a miracle to shut down and kick out the corruted and money changers.

  4. During my last visit to VAMC Prescott, my opthamologist lamented to me that he couldn’t prescribe marijuana for my glaucoma because his research indicates it’s the most effective medication available. He recommended that I find a trustworthy pusher and get it from the street.

  5. rhondareichel | July 27, 2017 at 10:53 am | Reply

    GOP = REEFER MADNESS
    This is one reason I want Sessions fired. I never vote for anyone who is anti marijuana legalization.
    They are backing the wrong horse if they think we are better off with opioids.

  6. Trump needs to educate Sessions on what good marajuanna used medically can do and maybe he would wake up.
    Unless of course he to is corrupted by big pharma scam in this country.
    Wake the hell up people.
    The cartel is on it’s last legs but refuse to give up!!!

    • rhondareichel | July 27, 2017 at 11:09 am | Reply

      we need to only vote for legalization candidates….this has gotten ridiculous, the tail is wagging the dog.

    • Free Man (NOT) | July 27, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Reply

      Sessions is also dead wrong on the blatantly unconstitutional civil asset forfeiture.

      • You are absolutely correct .
        He is not running with all the evidence against Hillary and Obama yet either unless that is working behind the scenes.
        I am hearing different scenarios about Trump also which isn’t making things any clearer such as the push to impeach Trump.
        Was this all planned already from above and /or is Trump planning to step down and Ryan announces the New Republic.
        Trump being used to just assist in dismantling the US Corp.and then leave. Etc etc

  7. Louis Charles | July 27, 2017 at 11:16 am | Reply

    The 9th Amendment says……………. and the GOP couldn’t give a crap. I can honestly say, if I was a vet (which thank God I was smart enough to avoid), who had problems/suffering caused by “serving”; whereas I was denied by my own Congressman, my Right to medicate or heal myself, I would hunt him down and give him one warning to change his vote. If he refuses, I return and simply kill him. It’s that elementary. What was the point of the Oath they take? …enemies foreign or DOMESTIC!!! Right? We as a society, in an honest attempt to live free by civilized means, are having every peaceful option stolen from us. Ever since 1964, the counterfeit currency thugs with their talmud in hand, who are buying all this totalitarian tyranny don’t care about reason and pleading. They see that as weakness. They see their “chosen” dominance as “evolution” unfolding.

  8. The people really need to make themselves heard regarding the Big Pharma Medical “Industry” monopoly; they created the AMA to more tightly control licensing and medical school curriculum, and hold power over the entire industry. Big Pharma is breaking it’s collective neck securing PATENTS on MARIJUANA as I write. Their only goal is to control the trade and steer the profits into their pockets. Not satisfied to kill us with their synthetic drugs and many bogus ‘treatments’, they suppress and make “illegal” the natural treatments/substances God put on this earth to heal us. We indeed have a CONgress of baboons working for their paymasters; the global central banks who are reaping the profits of BOTH the legal and illegal drug business. Enough!

  9. To institute Prohibition, the feds had to propose an amendment which was then voted on by the States.

    Since then, the feds seem to think that they can ban whatever they please.

    Is there a secret amendment somewhere that gave the feds authority to ban other things? I can’t find it.

  10. Christ, who do these human impersonators work for? When we our country grow into adulthood?

  11. There really is no excuse for these deranged criminals who push addictive drugs on the population for profit while denying a safe alternative. I hope they all burn in hell.

  12. So who are these 13 members of the House Rules Committee who hate veterans enough to deny them some measure of relief from their medical symptoms? I’d like to know.

  13. come-and-take-it | July 27, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Reply

    We need to vote every incumbent Congressman (both House and Senate) out of office every election cycle and replace them with a new candidate who swears an oath of allegiance to his constituents. This corporate blow job crap would stop in two election cycles. Get mad Americans and get off your asses.

  14. pharmacy lobby at work

  15. So done with Republicunts…

  16. Joshua Perry | July 30, 2017 at 4:31 am | Reply

    Medical marijuana is the best medicine. I feel better using it. I have forgotten what means muscle spasms. Thanks to the licensed physicians from AnnCannaMed

    • Brian Woodworth | July 30, 2017 at 4:52 am | Reply

      Oh I tried them, and they helped me treat myself.

    • Henrik Hansson | July 30, 2017 at 4:57 am | Reply

      I live too far from any dispensary to really make the trip worth while. I found this site AnnCannaMed. Its the best delivery dispensary i’ve tried, they always have fresh weed and reasonable prices, and fast shipping too.

      • Thanks for recommending us. We at AnnCannaMed believe in the impact of medicinal marijuana in helping people change their lives for the better and allowing them to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives. AnnCannaMed is efficiently run and always friendly.

  17. How many times are the true haters of the men and women of the military have to be shown to the American people! no weed for you 3 term vet! just take some of this opium we sending you over seas to secure for us!

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