Republican Rules Committee Blocks Veterans Medical Cannabis Amendments

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director June 7, 2018

    …for the second year in a row.

    The House Rules Committee, led by prohibitionist Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX), blocked multiple amendments related to marijuana from receiving consideration by the full House, thus ending their consideration and silencing the ability for the lower chamber to offer either legal protections or expanded access to veterans who use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    Among the amendments offered, the most critical one is known as Veterans Equal Access, which would allow VA doctors to fill out the authorizing forms needed for veterans to obtain state-legal medical marijuana. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), author of the amendment and legislation by the same name, stated “For the second year, Pete Sessions has shown that he does not care about the health and well-being of our veterans—who are speaking out across the country. All they want is fair and equal treatment, and the ability to consult with their own physician on all treatment options. By blocking this vote, Chairman Sessions has turned his back on our wounded warriors, commonsense, and the will of the American people. He should be ashamed.”

    Another amendment pertaining to veterans who work for the Veterans Affairs Department would have provided protections to veterans consume marijuana legally under state statute from losing their job as a result of a positive suspicionless drug test. This amendment was authored by Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL).

    For context, last year the American Legion conducted a poll that found one in five veterans self-reported using marijuana to alleviate a medical or physical condition. It is cruel and unreasonable to have veterans live in fear of having to choose between their job and their medication.

    The Senate Appropriations Committee heard the Veterans Equal Access language introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and passed as a voice vote. Unfortunately, it has a history of passing and then being stripped out of the final version over the last few years.

    You can send a message to your Representative in support of the Veterans Equal Access Act, HR 1820, by clicking here. 

    On July 22nd – 24th, NORML will hold it’s annual Conference and Lobby Day in DC and will focus on the need to not allow our progress to be rolled back – if you can join us in DC, click here to register.

    25 responses to “Republican Rules Committee Blocks Veterans Medical Cannabis Amendments”

    1. Robert Head says:

      This is an attack on our veterans. We work so hard to get these politicians to listen to the needs of these of our vets. Pete Sessions is more concerned about governing by his morals and helping his Pharmaceutical companies than he is about the men and women who put their lives on the line so he could have a career in politics.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Very sad

    3. Miles says:

      Can you imagine a country filled with people like Pete Sessions? If you can then you are imagining a country that I would not opt to serve or defend.

    4. John Hawkins says:

      You’re uneducated mentality and poor leadership is a sad but obvious political response in this process. You’re representation of Texas Veterans and citizens will eventually cost you your seat. Progressives WIPL eventually overcome your position from blocking these important bills. I hope you are proud of your immature and pathetic mannerism. Beenie Sanders will ensure that representatives like you will not succeed when he becomes the next TRUE President of the United States.

      Farewell to you,

      John Hawkins
      BMC (SW/DV), USN Retired
      BSCIS, (Cum Laude, Sociology Minor)
      Former VA hospital Management Analyst
      100% Disabled Veteran

      • Sean says:

        As a USAF veteran, John. I second that!

      • Julian says:

        Agreed Mr. Hawkins; although you may want to respell “Beenie” Sanders before someone thinks you’re making a racial slur…

        Must admit, the visual of Bernie Sanders in a beenie makes him look young enough to run in 2020…

        • Evening Bud says:

          Julian, my brother, I’ve gotta tell you that “Beenie” will get my vote should he decide to run in 2020.

          I’m still PO’d at Gillibrand, tho will do the right thing of course should she conceivably get the Dem nomination. She still has to evolve slightly on certain issues, IMO, as well as embrace national MJ legalization.

          This is no time for cautious politics. The American people are hungry (desperate) for real change. We have a rabid rightwing party in power, even now dismantling many of our economic safety guards, and we must oppose them with true champions of working class people. We can’t defeat unrepentant corporatism with corporatism light.

          But, as I say, Julian, I won’t help kill the good in favor of the perfect.

    5. carl vagg says:

      theres a madman at the wheel..

      unfortunately, its worse than that..
      one corrupted individual is preventing
      the will of the overwhelming majority,
      from even entering the nations top
      decisionmaking process..

      prohibition corruption takes various forms
      including in this case ‘marijuana madness’..

      the brains of veterans – and of everyone –
      include endo-cannabinoid systems which have
      various real therapeutic and healing functions,
      using our own cbd’s and cbd’s of cannabis..

      who stands to gain from sabotage of rational
      cannabis law reforms, such as provision of
      natural real – non pharmaceutical – medicine
      to veterans ? a special group with documented
      high suicide rates and other service related
      stress related disorders, etc..

      perhaps not madness,, but worse still..
      like a rat eating into the heart of
      the democratic process..
      the people must now unite in using
      their vote, to weed out traitors
      and others blinded to their duty..

      the vote is the key..
      getting the key out and into its lock
      is now the highest priority..

      norml has exposed politicians histories
      in support or sabotage of cannabis..
      they have clear targets on their backs..
      their only chance is sufficient apathy,
      or other low voter turnout…

      do your, duty, people
      – VOTE –

    6. David C. says:

      That’s what we get with a Republican controlled Government!

    7. Meteria Medica says:

      Interesting that he is from the same district in the Houston area as Ted Cruse. Guess they have some old hard right wingers.
      Maybe their constituents need to see the difference MJ makes for our wounded vets, and vets with PTSD.

      • Julian says:

        Pete Sessions is from district 32 which includes Dallas County, which voted for Hillary by 5 points but didn’t have a Democratic candidate. Now we have Collin Allred who fully supports mmj. Pete Sessions is in trouble. It’s gonna be fun guttin this parasite outta Congress.

        • Evening Bud says:

          My fingers are tightly crossed, Julian. Pete Sessions is a golden boy of the prohibitionists, or, in other words, a feckless rat. I’d love to see a defender of legalization defeat that rat in November.

    8. Sean says:

      Cue the MAGAt trolls that say that the Democrats and Obama are just as bad..three..two..one…

      • Dain Bramage says:

        I guess the MAGA-men are scared to come out, with all this military around here at the moment… But then again, they are chicken-hawks!

    9. Julian says:

      Pete Sessions, your days are numbered. Collin Allred is going to mop the floor with your face in November.

      Meanwhile the VA MJ amendment passed through the Senate Appropriations Committee:


      Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-OR

      “Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions turns his back on our wounded warriors, commonsense & will of Americans. He blocked my amendment AGAIN that would ensure our veterans have safe & equal access to medical marijuana.”

      — Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) June 6, 2018

      Now the question is can a bicameral conference committee get turn this amendment into law?

    10. John says:

      I just want to know which drug cartel still gets these idiots elected. My bet is that if Superpac funding were to suddenly become subject to disclosure, the major funders of these campaigns and the lobbyists who support continued prohibition are primarily criminal organizations and (or is that including) pharmaceutical companies. When will these idiots understand that usage is what it is and the only debate is who profits from marijuana. These politicians are not anti-drug, they are pro-cartel. In this day and age where data protected with the best of technology is routinely made public,someone will expose the direct links between these politicians and the vicious criminal enterprises they actually represent. It would certainly be cheaper for the VA to grow the correct strains vets need for pain relief, PTSD etc and distribute that to the vets.. Instead. we allow states to tax medicine making it too expensive to purchase “legally” and allow criminals to be enriched by the sacrifices of those of us who still pay every second of every day for our contribution to the lives these politicians enjoy. The country I gave all but my physical life to defend turns out to be completely inhumane and corrupt. We continue to suffer so they can continue to enjoy the percs of corruption.