WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation by Congressman Brian Mast (FL-21) to end the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) prohibition on assisting veterans in accessing medical marijuana. Current VA policy prevents providers from recommending, making referrals, or completing forms for medical marijuana, regardless of whether the state they reside in has legalized it for medical use.  

“As I was recovering in Walter Reed, I was put on a laundry list of prescription medications. Thankfully, I was able to quit those cold turkey, but not everyone can do the same,” said Congressman Mast, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. “Our veteran population is facing multiple epidemics, including addiction and suicide, and we owe it to them to make sure they’ve got every tool possible in the arsenal to deal with the impacts of battle - that includes medical cannabis."

The Veterans Equal Access amendment was included within a broader appropriations packaging funding the VA and military construction projects. The amendment requires the VA to authorize providers to discuss medical marijuana with veterans and complete forms reflecting their best recommendations.

The amendment was supported by the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, which is led by Reps. Mast, Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Dave Joyce (OH-14), and Barbara Lee (CA-12).