This past Thursday the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to give Veterans Administration doctors to recommend cannabis as a therapeutic treatment for their patients in states that allow medicinal use of marijuana.
The amendment, backed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana), was attached to a Defense Department spending bill that is identified as one that almost surely will be passed by the full senate.
“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” r Michael Collins the Drug Policy Alliance policy manager stated. “They have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors.”
Cannabis can help with issues due to PTSD and traumatic brain injury, two symptoms that are typical with veterans that return from Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, research from 2014 of people with post-traumatic stress disorder displayed a greater than 75% reduction in how severe symptoms were when patients were using cannabis to help treat their medical condition, in contrast to when they were not.
Doctors obtaining other government funding, such as people on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), are currently allowed to recommend cannabis to people in states where it is legal to conduct such activities.
The House of Representatives voted down a similar amendment this past month so it currently up in the air whether the Senate amendment will make it the final bill that will reach President Barack Obama for his signature.

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