According to sources with Stars and Stripes and the Associated Press, yesterday the GOP-dominated House turned down a bid by proponents of medical marijuana to allow veterans to receive information about the plant from their federally-funded physicians. The vote closed at 213 to 210 against the amendment to a specific bill that would increase the budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The proposal was created by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.). It would have removed a restriction preventing Veterans Administration doctors from educating patients on the pluses and minuses of medical marijuana even though the physicians would still not have been permitted to actually prescribe it. Blumenauer believes that marijuana is less dangerous and addictive than such commonly-prescribed drugs as opiates.
He told the press: “States are listening to their residents on the benefits of medical marijuana, including veterans, and are changing their laws. It is unacceptable for our wounded warriors to be forced out of the VA system to simply seek a recommendation on whether or not medical marijuana is a good treatment option.”
As this goes to press, a total of 36 states currently allow the use of medical marijuana which supporter state aid in treating such medical conditions as anxiety, chronic pain, glaucoma and nausea from medications or chemotherapy used to fight HIV.
Opponents like Maryland GOP Representative Andy Harris, a physician and medical marijuana opponent claims there is not a lot of evidence concerning medical marijuana’s benefits. He told the press: “There just isn’t good science behind what it works for and what it doesn’t.”
Yesterday’s vote was reportedly significantly closer than that on the same amendment in 2014 despite the fact that Republicans had made noticeable gains in the 2014 mid-term elections. This year, sources indicate there were 35 Republicans supporting the move as opposed to 2014’s 22. This year the amendment was opposed by fewer Democrats as well.
House Rejects Medical Marijuana For Vets