Medical Marijuana for Veterans Blocked
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Medical Marijuana for Veterans Blocked
Posted by CN Staff on July 27, 2017 at 11:58:07 PT
By Conor Gaffey
Source: Newsweek
Washington, D.C. -- Republican lawmakers have blocked an amendment to a bill that would have allowed veterans to access medical marijuana through federal doctors in states where the medicinal use of the drug is legal. The House Rules Committee removed the so-called “Veterans Equal Access” amendment from the Veterans Affairs (VA) department’s funding bill for the next year, McClatchy DC reported.The amendment proposed that VA doctors should consider medical marijuana as a form of pain relief for interested patients in states that have legalized the drug’s use in medicine. VA physicians are currently proscribed from recommending medical marijuana, since the drug is illegal under federal law. Veterans can seek out medical cannabis but have to pay for it out of their own pocket.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington, DC. Veterans organizations previously advocated that the drug should be permitted for use as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.Democratic representative Earl Blumenauer, who sponsored the amendment, told McClatchy that he was “bitterly disappointed” with the result. “This is a subject that has gained a great deal more attention and momentum,” he said. “More people recognize that the VA has really failed our veterans when it has come to pain management, opioids and opioid dependency.”But despite the setback, there is still a possibility that medical marijuana for veterans could become a reality. A fiscal bill in the Senate contains a similar provision, proposed by Republican senator Steve Daines, which would allow veterans to access medical marijuana through the VA in states where it is legal.The American Legion, which has 2.4 million members and is the largest wartime veterans association in the United States, has called for the classification of marijuana to be reconsidered so that further research can be conducted into its medical benefits.Marijuana, along with drugs such as ecstasy and heroin, is currently classified as a Schedule I controlled substance; the classification means it is considered to be a substance with a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States and is subject to tight restrictions. Federal doctors, including those in the VA department, are barred from even discussing medical marijuana as an option for patients due to the classification.The American Legion sent a letter to the White House in April, requesting a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss, among other veterans’ issues, the reclassification of marijuana. “It’s time the federal government took action to remove barriers to scientific research on this very important subject,” Joe Plenzler, the Legion’s director of media relations, told pro-marijuana news site The Cannabist.In recent years, veterans have frequently been prescribed with opioids to treat PTSD and pain. As troops returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, prescriptions for opioid painkillers surged from over 1 million in the fiscal year 2000 to more than 6 million in 2012 and 2013, according to a Wall Street Journal report.The VA has recently sought to reduce painkiller prescriptions due to the well-documented problem of opioid abuse and addiction among veterans. In the fiscal year 2016, the VA treated 66,000 ex-servicemen and women for opioid addiction. Opioid abuse has been linked to homelessness, prison and suicide among veterans. Medical marijuana advocates have promoted the drug as a viable alternative to opioids.The Trump administration has signaled it intends to take a hard line on marijuana. Trump’s embattled attorney general, Jeff Sessions— an outspoken critic of legalization of the drug —has already requested that barriers to the Department of Justice interfering in medical marijuana businesses be removed, even when the businesses operate in states where the drug is legal. A forthcoming DOJ report is expected to link marijuana use to violent crime, which could lead to tougher sentences for those who use, grow or sell the drug.Source: Newsweek (US)Author: Conor GaffeyPublished: July 27, 2017Copyright: 2017 Newsweek, Inc.Contact: letters newsweek.comWebsite: http://www.newsweek.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Soupherb on July 30, 2017 at 04:44:26 PT:
It is beyond my comprehension the sitting POTUS is a black mark against the people of America to the rest of the world.
He is the epitome of a selfish unapologetic Narcissist. Which in turn means he actually believes his lies and has no remorse for the lives he is ruining. Only cares about the way he looks...I mean good god please get a hair cut and stop talking, always sounding like a buffoon.
This issue is going to get a lot worse and cost a fortune to be rid of...not to mention all the lost time that will occur fixing the bad decisions this fool makes.Your Independent American Citizen
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 29, 2017 at 19:18:23 PT
 This sums up Trump to me.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 29, 2017 at 14:20:34 PT
And yet
It keeps getting stranger and stranger.It took a special kind of person to believe that President Obama's origins were not vetted big time and to believe the Birther conspiracy and the House and the Senate and the FBI were all behind it. Oh and Illinois, I guess.I was afraid he had some kind of special paranoia going on. He's very dramatic. Oh my gosh, the Drama! He is obviously not a man of mercy, compassion, charity, or love for his fellow human. He and his family believing and spreading the birther stories, to me, are not indicative of sound judgement or even common sense.I cannot believe that people thought the investigative branch of our government was that sloppy. It's one thing him being free and on the street, living his life like it's a TV show, but it's another that he's the head of our government and makes life and death decisions about people and their lives, health, and safety.I have many issues with his judgement. But I am watching.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 28, 2017 at 15:03:04 PT
What a long strange trip this has been. I have really tried to understand how people could want a person like Trump compared to Obama. I was calm during Obama's 8 years. I didn't have to follow all he did because I knew he was a no drama President and would give a lot of thought before he did something and then he got Bin Laden! He just did it. Hatred towards people who love to reason and aren't judging others for differences is not good. Trump today said to the police to rough them up. What?
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on July 28, 2017 at 10:24:48 PT
They should be so ashamed of themselves.
And God help us, they will be some day.They have been so cruel and awful and have repeatedly denied relief to the suffering.I really don't care for revenge or spite... but I wish they'd stop with the ignorant cruelty. They must! What they are doing to people rates on the true obscenity scale with the inquisition and witch trials. I'm so sorry we have so many butt-heads with so much power over so many. They make it hard not to hate.
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on July 28, 2017 at 04:05:58 PT:
The "Talk"
"Republicans do the talk, but not the walk".I beg to differ...there are some Republicans who support Marijuana reform, but they are few and far between. All my life I've had trouble with Republicans on this issue. You see, most of these people are latter-day "Archie Bunkers" who hate : Black folks, Gay folks, Latins, Non-Whites, name them, Republicans hate them! Now, since the majority of Herb-aficionados, such as myself, are very liberated in their attitudes about life, the "Archie Bunkers" despise us!!! It's not that they hate pot so much...they just hate those who smoke it.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on July 27, 2017 at 20:16:37 PT
Republicans vs. vets. A bad mark.
This is a disrespectful, ignorant and disappointing mark on republicans. Make note: a bad record is in the books.Republicans do the talk, but not the walk.
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