The medical marijuana market moved towards a significant expansion and greater legitimacy after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where it’s legal.
The 233-189 vote overturns an Obama administration gag order from a year ago that prohibited VA doctors in states with legalized marijuana from recommending it. A similar proposal narrowly failed last year, 213-210, Bloomberg News reported.
Senate lawmakers have included similar language in their version of an annual spending bill covering veterans health programs.
The House medical marijuana amendment is part of broader House military appropriations spending bill that still must be approved by President Obama. If approved, VA doctors in MMJ states could start recommending medical cannabis next year.
Currently, military vets who want to try medical cannabis must hire a doctor outside of the VA system at their own expense.
“We should not be limiting the treatment options available to our veterans,” said Earl Blumenauer, the Oregon Democrat who sponsored the bill, according to Bloomberg.