US Senate Approves Funding Provision Expanding Medical Cannabis Access To Veterans

  • by Danielle Keane, NORML Associate November 11, 2015

    pills_v_potOn the eve of Veterans Day, members of the US Senate adopted language to permit Veterans access to medical marijuana in states that allow for its use.

    On Tuesday, Senate members passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill,which for the first time includes language to allow Veteran’s Administration (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where medical marijuana is legal.

    The Daines/Merkley amendment had been previously approved by members of the US Senate Appropriations committee in May. By contrast, House members narrowly rejected a similar amendment this spring. House and Senate leaders will now need to reconcile the two versions of the FY2016 spending bill.

    Under current regulations, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs prohibits doctors from issuing cannabis recommendations even where it is legal. If the Daines/Merkley amendment is ultimately included in the reconciled version of the FY2016 spending bill, the Justice Department will be barred from spending any money to limit VA doctors from recommending marijuana, or to penalize veterans who choose to use medical marijuana in states that allow it’s use.

    25 responses to “US Senate Approves Funding Provision Expanding Medical Cannabis Access To Veterans”

    1. Ben says:


      Is about damn time.

      Also, glad the wall is being eroded.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Can the VA still deny pian meds to legal medical marijuana users?

    3. Julian says:

      All eyes on the House. Writem n callm! Tell them about Dr. Sisley’s research and how 17 veteran suicides per day can be prevented by the safe and legally regulated consumption of marijuana.
      Take Action link on the top right hand corner.
      Happy Veterans Day!

    4. Marty says:

      So the Justice Department can currently penalize veterans who choose to treat their cancer or other ailment with medical MJ in a state where it is legal for them to do so???

      That is incredibly terrible. How is it that a veteran can risk his life for his country, be exposed to chemicals (Agent Orange) which cause cancer while in service, and then be penalized for trying to fight the disease using a natural herb in a state that permits it by law?

      What hypocracy, injustice, and oppression.

      I fully support the bill this article talks about but what needs to happen also is Cannabis needs to be taken off the controlled substances act which could done either by congress or the president and the attorney general acting together.

    5. Frank says:

      What about Ohio

    6. Lenny says:

      This is, in my opinion, one of the best avenues to pursue legalization. If a politician votes to lock up a veteran for smoking a joint, they need to be called out. I guarantee attitudes will change if they are forced by veterans to confront legalization in this light.

    7. Mike says:

      Doesn’t this throw out the whole concept of “No medical use” for a Class 1 drug, and by Congress no less?

    8. George says:

      Long over do. Great move to help veterans. They need to give it to the veterans for free.

    9. Galileo Galilei says:

      Thanks for your service, too, folks.

    10. This is going to be a huge step in the war on marijuana prohibition, if they give the OK for VA doctors to be able to recommend medical marijuana it will be virtually impossible for the government to then say it has no medical benefit and should remain a schedule 1 drug. That is our biggest hurdle, we need to focus on small steps at first when we are talking about the federal level. The most reasonable and obtainable goal in my opinion is to get Marijuana rescheduled, then once science is able to be done it will be just a matter of time, most likely a short time before the political community will have to accept the medical communities view on Marijuana being uses as medicine