The Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act (HR 1151 / S 445, 116th Congress) would grant veterans access to the use of and medical information about medical marijuana. The Act reports that chronic pain affects the majority of US veterans; that in 2011, veterans were twice as likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses than nonveterans; that states with medical cannabis laws have a 25% lower mortality rate from opioid overdoses compared to states without such laws; and that marijuana has been shown to effectively treat chronic pain. As such, they identify medical marijuana as a less dangerous, legal alternative to opioids in treating veterans.
Specifically, the Act would allow veterans to use, possess, or transport medical marijuana in compliance with existing state medical cannabis laws. Physicians in states that permit the use, possession, distribution, dispersion, administration, delivery, and transport of medical marijuana would be allowed to discuss the use of medical marijuana as a pain management tool with veterans, and could guide veterans to participate in medical marijuana treatment programs.