Legislation was filed Wednesday that could allow VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in states where it’s allowed.

  • The legislation was introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida and Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii, both Democrats, according to a news release from Nelson’s office. Florida is one of many states that allow patients to use medical marijuana, under certain circumstances.
  • The bill directs the VA to “conduct research on the effects of medical marijuana on veterans who are in pain and how prescribing marijuana to veterans can be used to reduce opioid abuse among veterans,” along with creating a “temporary, five-year safe harbor protection” for veterans using medical marijuana, the news release stated.
  • “Federal law prohibits VA doctors from prescribing or recommending medical marijuana to veterans,” Nelson stated in the release. “This legislation will allow veterans in Florida and elsewhere the same access to legitimately prescribed medication, just as any other patient would have.”
  • Nelson is up for re-election in November when he faces Gov. Rick Scott.

———

©2018 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.