Lawmakers seek to give veterans easier access to medical marijuana

House lawmakers have introduced legislation that would make it easier for veterans to get medical marijuana in states where that is legal.

The Veterans Equal Access bill, sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Earl Blumenaur, D-Ore., would allow Veterans Affairs Department doctors and health care providers to complete the paperwork needed to participate in state medical marijuana programs.

VA now prohibits medical providers from writing prescriptions for medical marijuana. Rohrabacher said he finds it “unconscionable” that the department’s doctors “cannot offer a full range of treatments … which in many cases has been shown to have worked.”

“Our antiquated drug laws must catch up with the real suffering of so many of our veterans,” Rohrabacher said. “This is now a moral cause and a matter of supreme urgency.”

Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia and Guam allow medical marijuana, but post-traumatic stress disorder is a qualifying condition in just seven of those, with Arizona set to become No. 8, starting Jan. 1.

 

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