Congress to hear three cannabis bills this week

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Capitol Hill is buzzing with cannabis legislation

Three bills on cannabis topics are expected to be discussed this week on Capitol Hill, the latest sign that Washington lawmakers are finally taking the subject seriously. All three are going before a House subcommittee and all address cannabis use and military veterans.

The bills are concern access to medical marijuana by bets, how to expand research on the benefits of cannabis and how to protect vets’ benefits through the US Department of Veterans Affairs if those vets use medical marijuana in compliance with their states’ laws. The three bills are, respectively, the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, the Veterans Equal Access Act (VEAA) and the Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act.

The bills will be heard by the House Veteran’s Affairs Subcommittee on Health and this is the second hearing on cannabis to be held by the current Congress. A separate House committee recently approved a bill that would protect banks that serve cannabis businesses and keep them from being accused of federal violations.

Representative Earl Blumenauer, a strong cannabis proponent on Capitol Hill who sponsored the VEAA, asserts, “For too long, the VA has tied the hands of its doctors in providing appropriate care for their patients—our veterans. The Veterans Equal Access Act makes sure that our veterans get the treatment they need, and this hearing in an important step in the passage of this bill. Now, with the most pro-cannabis congress in history, we are updating our outdated federal cannabis laws. I’m looking forward to building on this momentum and seeing our continued progress.”