american legion

At their recent annual convention in Cincinnati, members of the American Legion called on Congress to remove cannabis from its Schedule I classification and to promote federal research into the plant’s use as a potential treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. With nearly 2.5 members, the American Legion is the largest veterans advocacy organization in the United States.

A second military veterans group, American Veterans (AMVETS) also decided at its August annual meeting to “support a veteran’s right to use medical cannabis therapeutically and responsibly, in states where it is legal, if prescribed by a board certified medical professional.”

Under federal law, VA doctors are not permitted to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans, even if they reside in states that permit medical marijuana. In May, majorities in both the House and Senate voted to include language in the 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to permit VA doctors to recommend cannabis therapy. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee decided in June to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote. At present, the fiscal year 2017 funding bill still remains pending before Congress.



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About Paul Armentano

Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and a Senior Policy Advisor at Freedom Leaf. He also serves on the faculty of Oaksterdam University. Mr. Armentano’s writing and research on marijuana policy have appeared in well over 750 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals, as well as in more than two dozen textbooks and anthologies. He is the co-author of the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? (2009, Chelsea Green), which has been licensed and translated internationally, and more recently, The Citizens’ Guide to State-by-State Marijuana Laws (Whitman Books, 2015). Mr. Armentano is the 2013 Freedom Law School Health Freedom Champion of the Year and the 2013 Alfred R. Lindesmith award recipient in the achievement in the field of scholarship.

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