Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) have filed legislation this week that would legalize medicinal marijuana for military veterans.
The bill would also allow government doctors to help the vets access the drug.
“Federal law prohibits VA doctors from prescribing or recommending medical marijuana to veterans,” Nelson said in a press release. “This legislation will allow veterans in Florida and elsewhere the same access to legitimately prescribed medication, just as any other patient in those 31 states would have.”
As part of the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians would be allowed to issue medical cannabis recommendations in accordance with the laws of a growing number of states.
The legislation also makes it legal under federal law for military veterans to “use, possess, or transport medical marijuana in accordance with the laws of the State in which the use, possession, or transport occurs.”
It also requires VA to conduct studies on “the effects of medical marijuana on veterans in pain” and “the relationship between treatment programs involving medical marijuana that are approved by States.
“The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would provide crucial medical and civil protections for the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve this country,” remarked Justin Strekal, political director for NORML. “It is unconscionable that these brave individuals who protect our nation’s freedoms would be treated as criminals when they return home just for treating their medical ailments with a safe and effective option.”