On August 24th, the American Legion adopted a resolution to approach the Federal Government with new urgency to let Veterans Affairs doctors discus medical marijuana with their patients and, in states where it’s legal, recommend the herb. This is an effort in a long line for the American Legion, which has been trying to get access to medical cannabis for veterans who so desperately need it.
The resolution was passed at the national American Legion convention held in Reno, NV on the 23rd. It was written by Rob Ryan, member from Blue Ash, Ohio. Ohio has one of the highest rates of overdose deaths in the nation due to opioid use. Ryan’s motivation came from the many veterans he’d spoken to who use cannabis in place of opiates.
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The American Legion is a highly respected group in our nation, one that Trump called “powerful” during his speech at the Reno convention. They have a real chance of grabbing the nation by the ears, especially on the issue of being able to speak to one’s doctor. Our veterans more than deserve ears to hear them.
Ryan’s resolution started at the local level, then county, district and state before it was brought out at the convention. It passed with wide support.
The American Legion represents over two-million veterans across the nation. They took their first swing at dated marijuana laws last summer, when they went headlong into trying to get cannabis out of the Schedule I category of drugs, which include heroin and LSD, all of which are considered to have no medicinal value.
The group has reportedly also asked Trump for meetings on several occasions to discuss the issue.
This past May, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin stated that he was open to exploring new evidence that cannabis can be used to treat veterans, however, VA policy adopted in 2011 keeps doctors from even discussing the plant with veterans. Over recent years, attempts have failed to change this in Congress.
Though the “Veterans for Equal Access” measure passed both the House and Senate last year with plenty of votes, the amendment was taken away during negotiations between the two entities. The Senate could yet approve it in the VA appropriations legislation. We may find out as soon as September, when Senators return from recess.
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In the meantime, we can only thank the American Legion and all our veterans. Not only for their service, but for speaking up when they see injustices in our country.