While it may seem ludicrous to many Grown In readers that in this day and age doctors and veterans can’t discuss the potential medical attributes of cannabis without fear of retribution from the authorities who are happy to prescribe opioids, this sadly remains the case in 2023.

There could be some relief on this front, however, in the upcoming Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act, which includes language that would authorize such conversations (albeit without any prescriptions). 

“Some say this doesn’t do anything, but getting any cannabis language at all into a bill is progress,” explains Nick Etten, founder of the Veterans Cannabis Project and CEO of Lone Star Bioscience. “It’s incremental progress.” 

The bill has passed both the House and Senate, but upon reconciliation it is unclear if this language will ultimately be implemented into law. A previous effort was blocked in 2016. 

“It is kind of fifty fifty right now,” Etten said. “It would be a confirmation of a protection of rights which is one of the biggest issues we’re dealing with right now.” 

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.