Despite all the lobbying medical cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. There is major support across all demographics including military veterans for the legalization of medical marijuana. However despite the wave of support the Republican controlled congress still wants to keep medical marijuana illegal. Quick Stop is a Eugene dispensary who actively supports the legalization of marijuana after witnessing the positive impact cannabis has had on many of their clients overall well being and quality of life.
In July the Republican House Rules Committee wouldn’t permit the “Veterans Equal Access” amendment from being including in the funding for Veterans Affairs. This amendment would have seen funding for medical marijuana for vets in states where it had already been legalized. There are thousands of vets who use medical marijuana to treat a variety of conditions, everything from PTSD to treatment of chronic pain from combat injuries.
Many of the supporters of the bill believe that it was quashed in order to appease Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Attorney General has been very vocal in his opposition to legalization and marijuana use. Jeff Sessions even tried to get congressional permission to use federal funding to go after medical marijuana, even in states where it had already been legalized.
Despite the fact that there is widespread support for legalization both in a medical and recreational capacity and the success of the states who have implemented legal marijuana it is still a Schedule 1 drug. Even the largest veteran’s organization The American Legion is calling for marijuana to remove marijuana from the Schedule 1 list and acknowledge the potential medical value in treating veterans and others.
At this time the Veterans Affairs forbids doctors from telling patients that marijuana may be an option to treat their conditions. The failed amendment would have changed that and allowed doctors who treat veterans to recommend marijuana in states where medical marijuana is permitted. With the overwhelming amount of PTSD cases among veterans and the mounting evidence that marijuana can help has earned support from veteran’s across the country. Here is one vet’s story.
Despite this set back from the House Rules Committee the fight for access to medical cannabis is far from over. With widespread support for the legalization of medical marijuana it is only a matter of time before the law changes like we have seen in more than 20 states. How long can Congress hold up against the will of the public. We must continue to advocate and contact members of Congress and the House to show your support for the legalization of medical cannabis.