U.S. military veterans would be allowed to receive recommendations for medical marijuana from government doctors under legislation approved by the Senate on Monday.
The provision, part of large-scale legislation to fund parts of the federal government including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through Fiscal Year 2019, would also protect veterans from losing their government benefits as a result of cannabis use that is legal under state law.
The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 86 to 5.
The House and Senate have previously adopted versions of the cannabis recommendation rider, but it has never been enacted into law. The House Rules Committee blocked a floor vote on adding the marijuana language to that chamber’s version of the VA funding bill earlier this year.
But the cannabis provision made it to the Senate floor because that body’s Appropriations Committee adopted it on a voice vote earlier this month.
Now, a bicameral conference committee will work behind closed doors to reconcile each chambers’ bill into final legislation to be sent to President Trump. It is not yet clear whether the marijuana rider will survive.
Separately on Monday, the Senate took a procedural vote to advance consideration of the Farm Bill, which includes provisions to legalize hemp. >>>