Friday, June 24, 2016

Pot for PTSD Veterans Cut From Bill

VA medical pot gets booted from budget bill
Stars and Stripes
By Travis J. Tritten
Published: June 24, 2016

Veterans are also looking at it to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, which might affect about 20 percent of the 1.8 million servicemembers deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the National Center for PTSD.
Marijuana, along with nine other substances, is specifically prohibited under Article 112a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and penalties for its use can range from a general discharge to dishonorable discharge (for positive results of a urinalysis) and even imprisonment for possession.
WASHINGTON — A proposal allowing doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans appeared close to becoming law until Congress removed it this week from the agency’s annual budget bill at the last moment.

The legislation, sponsored by Oregon lawmakers, had cleared prior votes in the House and Senate but was nixed late Wednesday night during final closed-door negotiations on the VA bill. It would have lifted a prohibition on the VA recommending the drug to patients in states where it is legal.

The move was a blow to advocates of medical pot who have been trying to get the measure through a divided Congress and lowers the chances that a law might be passed this year.

“It’s outrageous that it was removed” from the annual VA budget bill, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Sen. Jeff Merkley, both Democrats from Oregon, said in a joint statement Friday. “To add insult to injury, the legislation was released in the middle of the night, not even giving members of the House an opportunity to review the language before voting on it.”
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