It is clear that the legalization of cannabis is shaking things up. Many veterans require cannabis to manage their emotional and physical pain, but a certain Congress committee seems determined to deny our troops much-needed compassion.
Despite growing interest among several Republicans concerning research into cannabis for the sake of our veterans, the House Rules Committee decided to vote down Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s amendment that would allow doctors within the VA to recommend medical marijuana to their patients.
Blumenauer is one of Oregon’s state representatives, and he crafted the amendment in question so that soldiers would have access to medical marijuana. He responded to the vote with no small amount of frustration, stating, “It’s outrageous that the House Rules Committee won’t even allow a vote for our veterans. They deserve better. They deserve compassion.”
Rep. Blumenauer wasn’t the only one behind the amendment, though. Many other representatives throughout the House gave the amendment their sponsorship.
Because of marijuana’s current status as a Schedule 1 drug, VA doctors are forbidden from filling out paperwork that would allow their patients to seek out medical cannabis according to that patient’s state rules. Such a prohibition has been forcing veterans to seek cannabis-centered treatment outside the purview of the VA.
Blumenauer’s amendment, on the other hand, would ensure that no funds given to the VA would be used to disallow this access. The amendment would, essentially, negate the prohibition. But despite the sponsorship from Blumenauer’s supporters and colleagues, which include a number of Republicans, there apparently there wasn’t enough support for the amendment to pass.
Yet Blumenauer isn’t letting this setback defeat him. Soon after receiving the results of the vote, he said “We have stronger support in the House and Senate than ever before, and we will keep advocating for a more rational approach.”