Blumenauer: GOP Leadership Turns Its Back on Our Veterans . . . Again
Washington, DC – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, condemned Republican leadership in Congress for failing to include his Veterans Equal Access amendment in the final FY 2019 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations legislation released today. The House is expected to consider the bill this week. Blumenauer’s bipartisan amendment would make it easier for qualified veterans to access state-legal medical marijuana.
Blumenauer released the following statement:
“Denying veterans the care they need by the doctors they trust is shameful. The Senate passed this amendment. It has broad bipartisan support in the House. This should have been a no brainer. Yet, Republican leadership has once again stymied progress toward fair and equal treatment for our veterans. Their continued neglect of commonsense and the will of the American people is a disgrace.”
Background on the Veterans Equal Access Amendment:
Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms allowing a qualified veteran to participate in a state medical marijuana program. This forces veterans out of the VA system to seek a simple recommendation for treatment for eligible conditions under state laws. Blumenauer’s Veterans Equal Access amendment ensures that no funds made available to the VA can be used to implement this prohibition, which would, in effect, strike it down. House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions blocked consideration of the amendment in the House earlier this year.