Under a provision included in a budget bill which funds the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through Fiscal Year 2019, U.S. government doctors will be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to veterans. The provision prevents feds from interfering with the ability of a veteran to participate in a state-approved medical marijuana program or from denying any VA services to veterans who do so.
The bill, which passed by a vote of 86 to 5 was adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee via a voice vote earlier this month — a move with some historical significance in that it’s the first time marijuana legislation has progressed without an actual floor vote.
Although the Senate has passed the funding bill which includes the provisions, it’s not quite a done deal yet. According to a report at Marijuana Moment, a bicameral conference committee will have to reconcile bills from each chamber into final legislation to be sent to President Trump for signing. For the provision to become law, its inclusion in the final bill must be approved by the committee.
Also on Monday, The Senate Agriculture Committee in a 20-1 vote advanced a Farm Bill which includes hemp legalization legislation proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell which would effectively legalize hemp. Senator Chuck Grassley whose amendment to limit subsidy payments to farmers was omitted from the bill cast the sole “no” vote.