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Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) Stance On Cannabis

American Legion: The American Legion during their National Convention assembled in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 30, 31, September 1, 2016, resolved to urge the Drug Enforcement Agency to license privately funded medical marijuana production operations in the United States to enable safe and efficient cannabis drug development research. Additionally, they urged Congress to amend legislation to remove Marijuana from schedule I and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.

American Veterans (AMVETS), resolved at its mid-August 2016 annual meeting to “support a veteran’s right to use medical cannabis therapeutically and responsibly, in states where it is legal, if prescribed by a board certified medical professional.” The group has some 250,000 members.

VFW: There is support at the local level for many of them although nationally The Veterans of Foreign Wars have not made a definitive statement on the subject.

Under Federal Law

Under federal law, VA doctors are not permitted to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans, even if they reside in states that permit medical marijuana.

In May 2016, majorities in both the US House and Senate voted to include language in the 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to permit VA doctors to recommend cannabis therapy. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee decided in June to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

At present, the fiscal year 2017 funding bill still remains pending before Congress. Clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of PTSD are ongoing in both the United States and in Canada.