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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