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Nelson introduces legislation to allow VA to dispense medicinal marijuana

Posted at 10:23 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 22:23:30-04

Senator Bill Nelson, along with Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced a bill that would allow marijuana to be given to military veterans by VA doctors.

Although medicinal marijuana is legal in 31 states including Florida, it is illegal at the federal level.
Veterans in Collier County are seeking treatment with marijuana through their private physicians.

"Marijuana, being a natural alternative, really helps alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, through regulation of anxiety, blood pressure, blood sugar," said Nick Garulay, of My Florida Green.

Garulay's organization helps patients get their marijuana medical cards.

I myself would not be in favor of it, but for the men and women who do need it, of course I would be in favor of it," said William Carl, President of the Collier County Veterans Council.

Carl says he's seeing more of his fellow vets come back from overseas suffering from PTSD, depression, and combat related injuries.

Ailments he says could be treated with medicinal marijuana.

"I do know there is a need out there, and I do know it is very real."

But Garulay says the process of legalizing medicinal marijuana for the VA may take time, since marijuana is currently listed as a schedule one drug at the federal level.

"The government would have to de-schedule medical marijuana or marijuana, before any bill like that could take place."

A spokesperson for Senator Nelson's office says his legislation still needs a approval from a senate committee before getting a full vote.