By Jamie Bittner, KKTV News on March 31, 2023
A bipartisan group of Representatives are rallying support for a bill that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors more flexibility in discussing the issue of medical marijuana with their patients. Currently, veterans who want to consider using medical marijuana can’t rely on doctors at the VA to give them recommendations, opinions, or even help them to fill out paperwork
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who first introduced the bill, has teamed up with Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) to reintroduce and pass the Veterans Equal Access Act. The lawmakers said the act would provide “equal access to state-legal medical marijuana for veterans participating in VA healthcare by ending the harmful VA prohibition on doctors and healthcare providers giving opinions or recommendations on or completing forms for state-legal medical marijuana programs.” They add, the bill would not cost the VA any additional money.
“This legislation would enable the VA doctors who know veterans the best to be able to have frank conversations, give them advice and counseling. They shouldn’t have to leave their primary care doctor out of their own pocket. Try and find somebody. It’s better to have the medical professionals that know them best. And I have no doubt when our legislation is passed that the VA will embrace it,” said Rep. Blumenauer.
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