Originally appeared on Merry Jane.
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Congressional forces took steps earlier this week to give doctors employed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the ability to write medical marijuana recommendations for patients living in legal states.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment in a vote of 24-to-7 that would include medical marijuana access for veterans as part of the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The inclusion of this rider, if met with finally approval, would finally give physicians at VA hospitals in legal marijuana states all across the country the ability to incorporate cannabis medicine as part of their patient treatment programs.
The purpose of the amendment is “to prohibit the use of funds appropriated or other-wise made available under this Act to interfere with the ability of veterans to participate in medicinal marijuana programs approved by States or deny services to such veterans.”
The VA’s current policy prohibits doctors from completing the necessary paperwork to send their patients down a path to a medical marijuana dispensary. Although the rule technically expired well over a year ago, the department has yet to put together an update to replace it.