Refused by US Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage loans to military veterans due to work in the state legal marijuana industry asking for congressional proceedings.
Thursday, the housing grant committee took language in a report related to a 2020 VA finance bill that requires clarification on the question:
"Home loan verification. – The Committee is aware of the Ministry's refusal of mortgage guarantees to veterans solely on the basis of Veteran's proven income. The committee is concerned that the department has never published its position in this case and prevents the veterans' ability to understand and assess how work decisions can affect future eligibility for earned benefits. days after the adoption of this law. "
Separately, Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Julia Brownley (D-CA), the head of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, are also currently circulating a congressional enrollment letter to the VA on the issue.
"Recently, a veteran reported that his VA loan guarantee claim was denied based on his employment in a state legal cannabis industry. VA's response indicated that the institute considered that the veteran's source of income was" not stable and reliable "enough for the purpose of mortgage applications," the lawmakers wrote. in a cover message that seeks signatures from other members of the congress for VA letter. [1
The draft letter to the VA secretary Robert Wilkie, which the grant bill reports language, is pushing VA to clarify its position in the question.
"A large majority of US states have now legalized medical and / or recreational cannabis in some form, giving rise to a state law industry that generates up to $ 11 billion a year in sales, creating over $ 1 billion in government-funded tax revenue , and support the livelihoods of over 211,000 Americans, the letter said to the secretary. "A significant number of veterans earn their living in this industry, and in the coming years this number will probably increase further."
"VA must acknowledge this reality and Ensure that veterans working in this sector are able to understand clearly and can gain equal access to the benefits they have achieved. "
" The ambiguity the cannabis industry is driving is unique, and we fully understand the VA's resulting aversion to legal and financial risk, "the draft letter to Wilkie states." However, the veterans refused the benefits they have earned are contrary to the intent conference Separately demonstrated in the creation of VA benefit programs. "While VA has provided guidance on certain related issues as a clarification that veterans will not lose their VA benefits merely for the use of cannabis and specify that departmental doctors may discuss marijuana use with patients, however. does not issue a formal recommendation for medical cannabis The Department has not written anything about mortgage qualifications for veterans working in the marijuana market, at least not publicly.
"Nevertheless, the VA has not issued any guidelines or guidance on this subject and the veterans have No way to clearly and easily understand whether their choice of legal employment in this industry can lead to denial of the benefits they have earned, the letter says.
"We ask you to respond to the next 30 days describing the ministry's position on loan guarantees, and to the extent that is practicable, you also include information about whether a veteran is eligible for other special water benefits, threatened solely on the basis of their employment in a lawful cannabis industry in a given state, and we also request that your reply contain an assurance that you will begin the process of issuing public policy clarifying the position of the VA in this matter. "
Separately, the House Grant Committee Report related to the VA Finance Bill also contains a section-requiring VA explaining its efforts to conduct marijuana therapeutic benefit research for veterans:
"The Cannabis Research. Committee recognizes that continued focus on the discovery of treatment options for veterans diagnosed with various conditions, Like chronic pain and PTSD, it is crucial to reduce the number of suicides from the vet For this reason, the Energy and Water, Legislation and Military Construction Act, 2019 (PL 115-2444), urged the VA to use funds to prioritize investment in research on the efficacy and safety of cannabis use among veterans for medical purposes and to submit a report to the committee no later than 180 days after the law has been adopted. The report has not yet been submitted to the committee, and therefore the committee is leading the VA to provide a status update of this outstanding report within 15 days of the report being filed. "
Similar languages were included in a report from the same committee last year, but the VA has apparently not followed the previous request to issue a report to Congress on the matter.
Veterans and cannabis problems have been in the front and center of 116 congress, with three parts of related legislation being discussed at a house veterans subcommittee hearing in April, two of which were set for a full committee vote on Wednesday, but they were withdrawn from the agenda after the chairman decided to instead hold a single planned hearing specifically aimed at the marijuana proposals
Trump Administration Opposes bills on medical marijuana for military veterans
Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.