Friday, November 25, 2022

Senators Introduce Amendments For Legalizing Medical Cannabis For Veterans

One of the measures would allow veterans to legally possess and use marijuana under federal law, as recommended by doctors in accordance with state law.

By Joana Scopel

Recently, Senators filed another pair of marijuana amendments to a large-scale defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Cannabis-related amendments proposed for the Senate version of the NDAA include legalizing medical cannabis for military veterans and pressuring the VA to provide federal home loan benefits to veterans in the cannabis industry.

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced an amendment that mirrors the language of a standalone bill, the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act “that he’s sponsoring,” reported Marijuana Moment.

veterans PTSD
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

What If These Measures Come Into Law?

One of the measures would allow veterans to legally possess and use marijuana under federal law, as recommended by doctors in accordance with state law. VA doctors would also be allowed to issue such recommendations for the first time.

Additionally, it would require the VA to study marijuana’s therapeutic potential for pain and reducing opioid misuse. The text said that Congress must provide as many funds as “necessary to carry out” the investigation.

In addition, Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) separately filed an amendment to NDAA that simply expresses “the sense of Congress” that veterans “should not be denied access to Department of Veterans Affairs home loans on the basis of income derived from State-legalized cannabis activities.”

RELATED: SAFE Banking, Veterans Medical Marijuana Access Approved In House As Part Of National Defense Act

However, “many veterans continue to be denied access to home loans on the basis of income derived from State-legalized cannabis activities,” the amendment stated.

Related to the above, the senators said the VA “should improve communication with eligible lending institutions to reduce confusion among lenders and borrowers on this matter.”

veterans marijuana
Photo by DerwoodPhotography/Getty Imagess

Measures Recently Filed

Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) filed measures that would prevent the denial of federal security clearances for people over cannabis use at any time, while the other would limit the protection only to people who admit to past use prior to entering national security vetting.

RELATED: As Suicide Rates Surge, Nebraska Gov. Says There’s No Evidence Cannabis Helps Veterans With PTSD

According to one of the senator’s amendments, the “use of cannabis by an individual shall not be determinative to adjudications of the individual’s eligibility for access to classified information or eligibility to hold a sensitive position.”

The other one, which Wyden is sponsoring with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), focuses on past cannabis use.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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