Veterans Applaud House Passage of SAFE Banking Act

SAFE Banking Act is “important first step” but final cannabis legislation this year “must include veterans’ provisions”

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Veterans Cannabis Project Executive Director Doug Distaso released the following statement applauding the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act this evening:

“Today’s historic House passage of the SAFE Banking Act is an important first step toward eliminating the stigma around an industry that is providing essential medical treatment options for veterans. This legislation will ensure protections for veterans’ GI Bill benefits and allow them to seek well-paying jobs in a rapidly growing industry.

“I will be working diligently with my fellow veterans in the coming weeks to ensure the Senate understands the positive impact that cannabis has on veterans’ lives. As service members return with issues ranging from chronic pain to PTSD, many are finding cannabis is a treatment option that improves their quality of life and reduces their symptoms, without the negative side effects of opiates and other prescriptions.

“Veterans are twice as likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses as civilians and 20 commit suicide every day. However, due to federal prohibition, VHA doctors are currently unable to recommend cannabis despite the veterans’ health crisis we are witnessing.

“Any final piece of cannabis legislation must include veterans’ provisions that authorize VHA doctors to recommend and assist veterans in accessing medical cannabis, provide legal protections to ensure veterans can access cannabis without fear of losing their jobs or benefits, and require the VA to research the impacts of cannabis on common veterans’ health issues. Veterans bravely served our country and it is time for our nation to serve them by providing the medical treatment options they need.”

  • An American Legion survey of veteran households found that 82 percent want to have cannabis as a federally legal treatment, and 92 percent support research into medical cannabis. Survey shows veteran households support research of medical cannabis

  • A survey conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) found “83% of IAVA members agree cannabis should be legal for medical purposes” and 90 percent of IAVA members support researching cannabis for medicinal purposes. 2019 IAVA Survey

About the Veterans Cannabis Project

Veterans Cannabis Project (VCP) is dedicated to advocating on behalf of cannabis access issues for U.S. military veterans. VCP is committed to educating policymakers and the public about the value of cannabis to veterans and supporting veterans across the nation with the resources they need to understand the value of medical cannabis, know their cannabis rights, and access the tools they need to encourage federal policy change. We work daily to create a community that can heal our nation’s broken approach to cannabis and provide veterans with safe, legal access.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 25, 2019 // CONTACT: Samantha Rose - 202-713-0278