While preparing for work on a Monday morning, a call came through from Representative Katherine Clark’s office. The caller had called to inform him that the US House of Representatives had passed his amendment and that they were grateful for drawing the attention of the House to the issue.
The 35-year-old disabled veteran had in January applied for a home loan as his family was ready to move from Revere, but his application was turned down by the veteran’s administration. The VA denied his request because they claimed his job as a manager in a marijuana store is inappropriate. He never envisioned that anyone would be concerned over the VA’s denial of his home loan application because of his job, but that call from Katherine Clark’s office proved otherwise.
The House had on Friday passed a measure prohibiting the VA from denying veterans of their earned advantage of a low rate hike loan guarantee with no money down, using their affiliation with legal cannabis industries as a reason to do so.
The veteran who wants his name published to keep his relationship with the military cordial, expressed his surprise and happiness, as their struggle eventually yielded a positive result.
The veteran had to reach out to his congresswoman, Clark, following the last-minute rejection of his home loan application in January by the VA. Congresswoman Clark made some amendment of the defense budget as regards the practice and the document was filed while she also sent a letter, backed up by 20 other legislators, to the VA demanding for more details on their policy as regards the case of the veteran.
In the letter she sent, it was noted that the region’s cannabis trade was legal, and not only generates $11 billion in sales annually but also, has a massive number of people, up to 211,000 earning their living from this industry.
In a statement made by Clark on Friday after the House vote, she noted that the cannabis industry made up a considerable part of the economy, and therefore, not just veterans, but nobody should face a penalty for contributing to the economy. She also noted that; should the amendment be passed; service members are sure to receive their much-deserved benefits while also reforming the policies of the VA. The VA did not make any comment concerning the issue but said that they would reply directly to the legislators.
Although the Senate had their version of the already passed defense budget, a joint committee will conclude if the Congress’ measure will be included in the bill to the president.
This particular case of the veteran from Revere brings to light one of several ways in which the disharmony between federal and state laws creates problems for both servicemen and others. An example of such is the prohibition of marijuana at the national level, while some states have legalized the use of marijuana.
Veterans have made several complaints on how employers have termed them unemployable and also of how they have been denied certain benefits because of their involvement in the legal marijuana industry. Veterans who find marijuana useful medically have been reporting of a financial burden as the VA has refused to cover marijuana drugs as it does with other conventional medicines, opium included.
This Revere veteran, during a military training exercise, tore his shoulders and the injury has been a source of great pain. He later found medical marijuana that provided great relief to his pain. That was how he decided to work in the cannabis industry. The use of medical marijuana replaced the need for opioids, and thus, was a massive relief for him.
Working in the cannabis industry was a source of fulfillment to him, as it presented an opportunity for him to help patients find relief through medical marijuana. Around last year, he was made the assistant manager of a marijuana retailer which happens to be one of the 22 marijuana shops.
When he got to know about the reason why the VA denied his home loan application in January, he narrated his ordeal to his co-workers. A colleague helped him in securing a more affordable home loan from a mortgage company.
Having secured a better home loan, he and his family no longer had to live uncomfortably in a tiny space or at his parent’s home. They have now moved into their new apartment in Dracut which has a yellow four-bedroom with a sunroom, white countertops and a big backyard space for his three children to play around.
His new apartment is everything he wanted and securing it was a dream come true he said.