Help Veterans Access Medical Marijuana!

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 7.13.12 AM[hr]Support The Veterans Equal Access Amendment   Click here to send 

Dear Member of Congress,

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I am writing to request that you support The Veterans Equal Access Amendment sponsored by Steve Daines (R-MT) and offered in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which allows VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana with their patients where it is legal. The amendment will be offered as part of the Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the Milcon/VA bill.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. This amendment would authorize VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states. In 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in Conant v. Walters the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana, regardless of its illegality under federal law, as well as the right of patients to receive accurate information. The Daines amendment would support that first amendment right and restore a healthy doctor-patient relationship.

There are numerous federal healthcare programs besides the VA such as Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP – but only the VA prohibits physicians from discussing and recommending medical marijuana to their patients. A Medicare patient may freely discuss medical marijuana use with her doctor, while a returning veteran is denied the same right.. Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, illnesses typically suffered by Veterans. A 2014 study ( of people with PTSD showed a greater than 75% reduction in severity of symptoms when patients were using cannabis to treat their illness, compared to when they were not. Veterans have served our country valiantly, so the least we can do is provide them with access to the medicine they require.

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