"Why Veterans In Pennsylvania Are Still Shut Out From Medical Marijuana" article

April 21, 2016

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One group in Pennsylvania has been completely shut out from accessing medical marijuana for medicinal purposes. Not even the state’s newly pass medical marijuana law can help them.


Provisions will allow parents of sick children to get relief almost immediately, but even with this new law, veterans are largely left out.


On Sunday, a heavy push, which has taken two and a half years, was sealed with the signature of Governor Tom Wolf.


“We fought like crazy to make it happen,” said State Senator Daylin Leach. “Now it has happened and it’s the law, but that’s not the end of the story.”


It’s certainly not. According to Leach, who spoke at an event with Wolf on Tuesday, regulations still have to be crafted and implemented and the industry itself has to become up and running before medicinal cannabis can be utilized for those approved to use it.


However, since this is not federal legislation, it leaves out veterans who receive their medical care through the Office of Veterans Affairs, a federal program.


“The VA will not be able to cover this under current federal law. They’ll just have to pay for it, OK, or somehow find the money to do it,” Leach explained.


Active members of the Pennsylvania National Guard may have options in securing coverage. Otherwise, disable vets who are unable to afford a prescription from private doctors, may have to continue to wait to see if federal hearings on dropping marijuana from a schedule one narcotic pan out.

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