While the Senate was locked in a struggle to repeal or strengthen the Affordable Care Act including Medicaid coverage for millions of Americans this week, nearby in the House of Representatives, America's military veterans suffered an unconscionable defeat at the hands of cold-hearted American legislators.
The GOP-controlled House Rules Committee decided Tuesday not to allow a medical [cannabis] amendment to proceed to a full vote, as part of the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
The debate centers around a simple question: should American military veterans who live in states where medicinal cannabis is legal have access to cannabis products to alleviate their symptoms of chronic pain, anxiety, depression, cancer, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, among many other conditions?
Our readers will know that medicinal cannabis has been approved to be recommended by doctors in 29 states plus the District of Columbia, and that more than 94% of Americans approve of the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use. And they may know that both the House and Senate passed similar amendments last year, and the Senate Appropriations Committee just passed a similar amendment 24-7 on July 13th.
There's more at stake than just the comfort of these brave men and women who have nobly served our country. Our veterans are committing suicide at a rate of about 20 per day - many believe these suicides are underreported by 3x. The rate of suicide among women veterans is six times higher than other women.
Partisan politics is causing their suffering to continue. Because of this vote, for many veterans the only relief will come from addictive opioids or alcohol, or the barrel of a gun.
Source of image of Sarah Leatherman, who suffered from PTSD and committed suicide in 2010 is the LA Times