WASHINGTON (WFXR) — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, joined U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in reintroducing the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act which would allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in states that have established medical marijuana programs.

Currently, there are 36 states, including Virginia, that have established medical marijuana programs.

Under current law, medical marijuana programs allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to help patients manage pain, except for those at VA facilities.

This bill would change that by expanding program eligibility to VA hospitals. The bill would also create a temporary, five-year safe harbor protection for veterans who use medical marijuana and would also direct the VA to research how medical marijuana could help veterans better manage chronic pain and reduce opioid abuse.

“This bill helps ensure that veterans have access to the same medical options as other Americans, removing barriers to care for our heroes. This would also be an opportunity to further explore the use of medical marijuana as a viable tool to help veterans manage pain and potentially reduce opioid abuse.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia)

This legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Dave Joyce (R-OH).