Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Legalization

US Senators Cast First-Ever Vote In Favor of Medical Marijuana Access

The majority of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee cast votes in favor of expanding medical cannabis access to United States veterans on Thursday. The committee vote marks the first time that a majority of any body of the U.S. Senate has ever decided in favor of increased cannabis access.

Committee members voted 18 to 12 in favor of The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. It was added in committee to a must-pass military construction and veterans affairs spending bill (the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act). The bill is “certain” to pass on the Senate floor, according to a Drug Policy Alliance press release.

Weeks ago, House members narrowly killed a similar amendment in the House version of the Appropriations Act by a floor vote of 210 to 213. Once the Senate version of the act is passed by the Senate floor, House and Senate leaders will need to reconcile the two versions.

The Daines/Merkley amendment permits physicians affiliated with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use. Under current federal law, VA doctors are not permitted to fill out written documentation forms authorizing their patients to participate in state-sanctioned medical cannabis programs.

Stand-alone legislation (HR 667) to permit VA physicians to recommend cannabis therapy is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. A similar provision is also included in Senate Bill 683/HR 1538, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act.

NORML coordinated its 2015 legislative ‘fly-in’ and lobby day in Washington, D.C. this past week, where many attendees visited with U.S. Senators and urged them to vote for the Daines/Merkley amendment, among other pending reform legislation. Archived presentations from the conference are online here .

To learn more and/or to contact your elected officials in regard to other pending marijuana reform legislation, please visit NORML’s Take Action Center.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Culture

In the 1990s, Howard Stern was already firmly on board with cannabis legalization.

News

In his annual State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed legalizing the sale of cannabis products to individuals over the...

News

Illinois' neighboring states of Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri have yet to legalize recreational marijuana, while Michigan already has.

News

The lack of testing facilities could slow down retail sales.

News

Virginia attorney general Mark Herring wants the Commonwealth to legalize marijuana. This week, he brought lawmakers together to discuss why.

News

Now that the long wait is over, the bureaucracy can begin.

Activism

The online seminar will be powered by real-life law enforcement experience.

News

The MORE Act would allow states to craft their own marijuana regulations.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!