Despite the best efforts of Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the United States House of Representatives narrowly voted against a measure that would have allowed Veterans Administration doctors to recommend medical cannabis in states where the medicine is legal. When there is an epidemic of veteran suicides, it is shameful that Congress won’t allow VA doctors to recommend a safe medicine to those that have sacrificed so much for our country. The vote fell just a few votes short as there were 210 votes in favor and 213 against. As an Oregonian, I am proud of the fact that 4/5 of the state delegation (all Democrats) voted for the measure while only one, Republican Greg Walden, voted against. The Oregonian reports:
Blumenauer, who sponsored the same measure last year, came closer this time. He lost by just three votes as the House decided 210-213 against his amendment to a bill that includes VA funding.
“The medical marijuana train has left the station,” the Democrat told opponents on the House floor. “A million Americans have a legal right to use medical marijuana and do so. You want to treat veterans differently.”
Blumenauer argued that many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions are prescribed painkillers that at higher-than-average rates lead to addiction and overdose deaths. “Nobody dies from an overdose of marijuana,” he said.
In good news, the vote shows that the failed war on marijuana is losing steam, as this vote improved from the 195-225 vote that occurred previously. The vote garnered 35 Republican votes this session, up from 22 last year. Day by day, year by year, vote by vote, until we are all free.