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The denial of home loan by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to military veterans due to work in the state legal marijuana industry leads to congressional action. On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee included language in a report attached to a 2020 VA finance bill requiring clarity on the issue: "Home Payroll Verification. The Committee is aware of the Ministry's refusal of home loan guarantees to veterans solely on the basis of the veteran's documented income The Committee is concerned that the department has never publicly stated its position on this issue, which prevents the veteran's ability to fully understand and consider how employment decisions can affect future entitlements to benefits. The Committee therefore calls on the VA to publicly clarify its position in this issue no later than 1 80 days after the adoption of this law. " Separately, Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Julia Brownley (D-CA) chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Health, are currently circulating a congressional letter to the VA about the problem. "Recently, a veteran reported that his VA loan guarantee application was denied based on his employment in a state legal cannabis industry. The VA's response suggests that the department considered that the veteran's source of income was not" stable and reliable "enough to apply for mortgage loans" , the legislators wrote in an insurance policy that sought signatures from other members of the congressional waterfront congress. 19659002] "Because VA considers this income to be forfeit or confiscated under federal law,…

The denial of home loan by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to military veterans due to work in the state legal marijuana industry leads to congressional action.

On Thursday, House Appropriations Committee included language in a report attached to a 2020 VA finance bill requiring clarity on the issue:

“Home Payroll Verification. The Committee is aware of the Ministry’s refusal of home loan guarantees to veterans solely on the basis of the veteran’s documented income The Committee is concerned that the department has never publicly stated its position on this issue, which prevents the veteran’s ability to fully understand and consider how employment decisions can affect future entitlements to benefits. The Committee therefore calls on the VA to publicly clarify its position in this issue no later than 1

80 days after the adoption of this law. ”

Separately, Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Julia Brownley (D-CA) chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Health, are currently circulating a congressional letter to the VA about the problem.

“Recently, a veteran reported that his VA loan guarantee application was denied based on his employment in a state legal cannabis industry. The VA’s response suggests that the department considered that the veteran’s source of income was not” stable and reliable “enough to apply for mortgage loans” , the legislators wrote in an insurance policy that sought signatures from other members of the congressional waterfront congress. 19659002] “Because VA considers this income to be forfeit or confiscated under federal law, they do not consider it appropriate for a VA loan,” Clark and Brownley told their colleagues in the note, obtained by Marijuana Moment. “VA also explained that if VA employees would accept this income in order to get an application for a loan, they could technically be prosecuted by DOJ for money laundering.”

The draft letter to VA secretary Robert Wilkie, as well as the grant reporting language, presses VA to clarify its position on the issue.

“A large majority of US states have now legalized medical and / or leisure cans in any form, giving rise to a state legal industry that generates up to $ 11 billion a year in sales creating over $ 1 billion in state-borne excise revenue. , and supports the supply of over 211,000 Americans, the letter said to the secretary. “A significant number of veterans earn their livelihoods in this industry, and in the coming years this number is likely to increase further.”

“VA must acknowledge this reality and make sure that veterans working in this sector can clearly understand and can fairly access the benefits they have earned. “

” “The indistinctness of the cannabis industry is unique and we fully understand the VA’s departure from legal and financial risk”, the draft letter to the Wilkie states. “Denying the veterans the benefits they have earned, however, goes against the intentional congress separately. demonstrated in the creation of VA benefit programs. “

Although VA has provided guidance on some related issues as an explanation that veterans will not lose their VA benefits just to use cannabis and specify that the physician department may discuss marijuana use with patients but Do not issue a formal recommendation for medical cannabis The Department has not written in writing regarding home loan qualifications for veterans working in the marijuana market, at least not publicly.

“VA has not yet issued any policy or guidance on this subject, which means veterans have no opportunity to clearly and easily first whether their choice of legal employment in this industry may result in denial of benefits they have earned, “says the letter.

“We ask that you reply within the next 30 days and detail the department’s position on loan guarantees and that, as far as practicable, you also include information on whether a veteran’s eligibility for any other particular VA profit is compromised solely on the basis of His employment in a legal cannabis industry in a particular state. We also request that your reply include a statement that you will begin the process of providing guidance to publicly clarify the VA’s position on this issue. “

Separately, the committee for household purchases attached to the VA funding bill even a section-consuming VA explains their efforts to conduct research on marijuana therapeutic benefits for veterans:

“Cannabis Research.” – The Committee recognizes that continuing focus on the discovery of treatment options for veterans diagnosed with various conditions, such as chronic pain and PTSD, is essential to reduce the number of veterans’ suicides. For this reason, the Energy and Water, Legislative and Military Construction and Veterinary Affairs, 2019 (PL 115-2444) invited VA to use funds to prioritize investments in research on the effectiveness and safety of cannabis use among veteran populations for medical purposes and submit a report to committee no later than 180 days after the adoption of the law. The report has not yet been submitted to the committee, therefore the committee is leading the VA to submit a status update of this outstanding report no later than 15 days after the report has been submitted. “

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 the Congress on the issue.

Veterans and cannabis issues have been at the forefront of the 116th Congress , where three parts of related legislation have been discussed at a household veteran’s subcommittee hearing in April, two of which were set up to get a full committee meeting on Wednesday, but they were withdrawn from the agenda after the chairman decided instead to hold an even scheduled hearing focused specifically on the marijuana proposals.

Trump Administration Opposes Medical Marijuana Bills for Military Veterans

Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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