SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR VETERANS

By Thomas Mitchell Westword

Congress can't seem to get the veterans hospital in Aurora straightened out, but a Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to a Veterans Affairs funding bill yesterday that would allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where it is legal.

The 2016 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, amended and approved by the committee Thursday afternoon, provides the budget for the Department of Veteran Affairs and would lift the ban on VA physicians prescribing cannabis for their patients. Introduced by Senators Steve Daines of Montana and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the bipartisan amendment passed 18-12 and would mark the first time that the United States Senate has enacted marijuana law reform — if the bill is eventually signed into law by President Barack Obama.