Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure

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  Senate Committee Approves Historic Measure

Posted by CN Staff on May 22, 2015 at 05:13:50 PT
By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post 
Source: Huffington Post 

Washington, D.C. -- The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a historic bipartisan amendment Thursday that aims to increase veterans' access to medical marijuana.The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, added to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, passed the committee 18-12. The measure allows Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to their veteran patients.
Currently, the VA bans medical providers working with the agency from completing any forms brought by patients that seek marijuana recommendations or opinions in states where the drug's medical use is legal. The amendment, sponsored by Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) blocks the VA from using funds to enforce the ban on doctors.“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor and use it if it’s medically necessary,” said Michael Collins, policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “They have served this country valiantly, so the least we can do is allow them to have full and open discussions with their doctors.”Nearly 30 percent of military veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to a 2012 VA report. Some research has suggested marijuana may help PTSD symptoms, which can include anxiety, flashbacks and depression. A recent study found that PTSD symptoms were significantly reduced in patients who used cannabis.To date, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and 14 others have legalized marijuana extracts for specific medical uses. The plant remains illegal under federal law.While the bill still faces more votes in Congress before it comes close to becoming law, the amendment's approval is a significant victory for marijuana policy reformers, coming less than a month after a similar amendment narrowly failed in the House. The same House amendment was also killed last year. The Senate amendment marks the first time in history Congress' upper chamber has voted positively on marijuana reform legislation."Elected officials are finally starting to wake up to the fact that endorsing marijuana reform is good politics instead of the dangerous third rail they've long viewed it as, and that means a lot more victories are on the way soon," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post	Published: May 21, 2015Copyright: 2015, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #11 posted by The GCW on May 26, 2015 at 20:14:44 PT
schmeff & Mark702
The extent of prohibitionist's to attempt to exterminate cannabis is near Biblical.The one's who want to keep people from using the God-given superplant are way out there. Consumed by evil of Biblical proportion. -And their using constraint. "You can't make this stuff up!" -The insanity is real.
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on May 26, 2015 at 11:53:06 PT
the VA
glad to hear the good stories about medical care in the VA!! You guys would know it better than anyone else.The VA hospital I lived next to in Boston looked horrible - like something out of 1970's East Germany. Hopefully it's better on the inside.
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Comment #9 posted by schmeff on May 26, 2015 at 11:40:41 PT
Preventing an outbreak of Democracy-comment #8
Unfortunately, it's not just southern Oregon where local officials are circumventing democracy. Columbia County Commissioners just passed a "temporary" moratorium on any new or expanded outdoor growing. In order to get their ordinance to take effect immediately, they were forced to declare a state of emergency. Imagine this: in nearly a hundred years of illegal cannabis, Columbia County Oregon never experienced a cannabis-related emergency. Now that voters have legalized both medical and recreational cannabis, the sky is falling.The ordinance needed to take effect immediately because the Columbia County Commissioner's previous "temporary" cannabis moratorium was about to expire. Temporary moratorium #1 was enabled last year by the Oregon State legislature to address the fact that SIXTEEN years after Oregon voters approved medical cannabis, many local jurisdictions had yet to take any action towards developing each county's medpot regulations. Foot-dragging local officials could effectively save face by enacting an "official" temporary moratorium of one year, during which time the officials would be required to develop their local medical cannabis regulations.Now at 17 years and counting, temporary moratorium #1 is expiring, and the Columbia Co. Commissioners have done nothing required of them on the medical pot issue, and recreational pot has been approved in the interim, and temporary moratorium #1 has no provisions for extension, and Columbia County voters passed Measure 91 by a 56% margin locally and as of July 1st Oregon State law permits personal cannabis cultivation of 4 plants...what is a dedicated public servant supposed to do?Declare a State of Emergency. bypass the will of the people and enact yet another "temporary" moratorium under a land-use statute, and make sure it includes recreational as well as medical cannabis in this new, improved version. Claim that the passage of recreational cannabis has thrown everything up in the air again and nothing can be decided on the medical front until full implementation of recreational cannabis takes effect next year - 2016.The legal "hurdle" to declare a state of emergency (under this particular land-use statute) is the likely occurrence of "irrevocable public harm." Essentially, damage that can not be undone. (Wink, wink: "hurdle" in this case, is a pretty low hurdle indeed, because guess who decides what constitutes "irrevocable public harm"?)You might ask yourself, what kind of permanent damage can occur with cannabis being grown outdoors? Also known as agriculture. The Columbia County Commissioners decided that the odor of cannabis and the possibility of increased criminality - people ripping off other people's gardens - represented the threat of "irrevocable public harm."You can't make this stuff up! 
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Comment #8 posted by mark702 on May 25, 2015 at 13:13:22 PT:
Please Post - Fighting For Outdoor Gardens
Please post this article. I'm and I have been an advocate and activist in Oregon for 9 years now. Oregon has legalized but Southern Oregon local government goons are trying to impose and force a ban on outdoor gardens. They are tring to pass this bans imminently, like with the next week or two. Please help us spread word and help to fight this ban. Either way though, we will ignore the rule and exercise the freedom we have.
Cities Banning Outdoor Grows Disrespect Soldiers Who Died For Our Freedom
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on May 24, 2015 at 06:51:23 PT
VA Hospital White Citype Oregon.
Great hospital! Lovely, caring staff with all modern facilities. They treat every vet like a VIP. Me and My Dear Wife love our VA.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 23, 2015 at 19:38:29 PT
My husband's life was saved by using a big Veteran's hospital. They have a cardiac team right there when stress tests are done. Many hospital don't have a cardiac team right there. When he had the heart attack on the treadmill he was in the cardiac cath room in a minute. It was not good under Bush but it has really improved under Obama.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 23, 2015 at 06:13:19 PT
Passed! A done deal! At the Federal level!
This is good.Not nearly as good as it needs to get... but so much better than it was.Moving on ... leaving a blaze of true glory and greater justice, freedom, possibilities and hope, burning brightly wherever the darkness has been permeated by the truth.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on May 22, 2015 at 14:24:48 PT
ban the VA
ever ask the question "why do we have VA hospitals?" Why shouldn't veterans go to the top hospital in every city.  The whole notion of a separate VA administration medical system is highly suspect.The obvious answer seems to be, the VA hospital system exists so we can deliver cheaper, substandard health care to these veterans. The only difference between them and other patients is that they're military heroes, and we reward them by restricting them to Soviet/East Germany-like feudal medical system. It's a travesty….ban the VA!!!
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Comment #3 posted by kaptinemo on May 22, 2015 at 13:19:59 PT:
By Jove, I think they've got it!
At long last, the reality of the majority of the electorate wanting cannabis legal again is starting to have it's effect. It's finally starting to sink in: it's not smart to piss off such a huge voting bloc. Not one that has demonstrated such fortitude and determination, to outlast all their attempts to marginalize us.Now, prohibitionists are the minority, socially and politically. One that, in it's blind arrogance, still thinks of itself as the majority. Due to the extreme abnormal thickness of skull (guaranteeing a miniscule brain) the average prohib takes longer than your average (opportunistic) pol to realize that they aren't the majority, now.They shall be disabused of that illusion in short order. The pols have sensed the shift in the wind, picking up velocity as the pressure rises, until they're feeling the pent up force building to gale levels. A storm's coming; our storm. The Senate's reaction to DEA stonewalling (as if they hadn't aided and abetted that very same stonewalling for decades) shows they sense the wind changing direction, and seek to look like they are genuine reformers. The latest bit, with die-hard anti-cannabis Senator Feinstein making a volteface (as predicted here, last decade, opportunistic pols would change their opinions to match their constituents, regardless of past stances) and supporting a MMJ bill, shows they know they better not to urinate in our direction anymore, as a gale force wind is picking up from our direction, and all that will happen now is that the prohibs will get wet.When the support among the electorate for re-legalization went past 50% in our favor, the short, sharp and dirty stick they've stabbed us with for decades, still dripping with our blood, changed hands. It's in our hands, now.How that stick is used is no longer up to them, but us.
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on May 22, 2015 at 08:13:31 PT

Addictions are a strange thing?
I finally had to start smoking cigarettes to get off chewing gum!
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