In an effort to help military veterans with anxiety and stress disorders “survive and thrive,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) have introduced legislation that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs’ doctors to recommend medical marijuana for some patients.The Veterans Equal Access Act would make it easier for veterans to obtain medical marijuana in states where it is legal by challenging the Va’s policy that forbids doctors from consulting about medical pot use.
According to the Washington Post, the bill would allow Veterans Affairs Department doctors, and other health care providers, to complete the paperwork necessary for veterans to get medical marijuana. Current Veterans’ Administration rules prohibit doctors from writing medical marijuana prescriptions.
Congressman Rohrabacher said he finds it inexcusable that VA doctors are not allowed by federal law to select from a full range of treatment options, including medical cannabis, which has been shown in several studies to relieve the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Depression.
Our antiquated drug laws must catch up with the real suffering of so many of our veterans. This is now a moral cause and a matter of supreme urgency.
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal governemtn, the same as heroin and LSD, deeming that it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. That means that VA, which runs the largest network of hospitals and health clinics in the United States, cannot recommend marijuana as a treatment, even for veterans who live in a state where medical marijuana is legal.
VA medical staff is also prohibited from completing paperwork required to enroll in state marijuana programs because they are “federal employees who must comply with federal law,” said Gina Jackson, a VA spokeswoman.