Bipartisan Legislation Would Allow VA Doctors to Prescribe Medical Pot
Should veterans suffering from PTSD and other illnesses be allowed to smoke medical marijuana?
A trio of senators from both sides of the aisle – Rand Paul, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand – came together yesterday to propose legislation which would allow VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. VA facilities are federal sites, so they are unable to prescribe pot, even if the facility is in a state where medical marijuana is legal.
Read background on the legislation from Forbes:
The major aim of the six-part legislation would reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule II, thereby changing the plant from a federally-criminalized substance to one that has recognized medical uses.
This “downscheduling” would put marijuana in the same class as opioid narcotic pain relievers such as morphine and oxycodone. Currently, marijuana is on the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule I, the most restrictive classification of controlled substances, reserved for drugs with high addiction potential and no accepted medical use.
But in the 23 states and District of Columbia, where medical marijuana use is permitted, patients have been using whole herb and extracts to manage the nausea, vomiting, and wasting syndrome of cancer, the painful spasticity of multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and other disorders. In addition, 12 states have active or pending laws that permit the use of marijuana derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil for children with epilepsy. This non-psychotropic component of marijuana has both anti-anxiety and anti-seizure activity.
But regardless of state approaches to decriminalizing marijuana, the primary concern of doctors, patients, and institutions is that federal law doesn’t currently reflect marijuana’s legitimate medical use.
Navy veteran TJ Thompson voiced his support for comprehensive cannabis legislation.
“Us as veterans have volunteered our time to protect the rights and freedoms that make this country great. Today we call upon our elected leaders across the country to respect our rights to heal,” he said.
Tonight on “The Five,” Eric Bolling called this “long overdue legislation.”
Kimberly Guilfoyle and Greg Gutfeld agreed that they don’t know if marijuana is the answer to the suffering for many veterans.
“I think the issue is way bigger,” Gutfeld said. “They should be looking at these [veteran] suicides, we should be rethinking the way we treat and respect the warrior class in America. We have denigrated patriotism on every campus , we don’t treat these guys well, we don’t help them find jobs.”
Dana Perino said that Washington should listen to the medical experts on this.
Where do you stand on the debate? Let us know in the comments.
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