Rep. Lou Correa thinks 2019 could finally be the year that medical cannabis becomes legal for veterans nationwide. “What do you tell a veteran who has brought back invisible scars and those opioids aren’t doing a darn thing for them?” the California Democrat said in a recent interview. “They say cannabis works for them. How do you argue against that? I don’t think there is a legitimate argument to oppose it.” Correa, who sits on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has been pushing legislation since last spring that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to research whether medical marijuana may be a safe and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress, chronic pain and other war wounds. He plans on re-introducing the measure early in the next Congress. The measure received strong Republican support in committee last year but stalled in the full House. Now, with Democrats taking control of the chamber, he sees an opportunity not just for an incremental legislative step forward, but passage into law. “I don’t see it as a partisan issue,” he said. “The bill last year had [committee] Chairman Phil Roe as a co-sponsor … Cannabis is one of those issues that more and more has taken a more bipartisan approach in recent years.” In fact, multiple Republican House members have pushed for broader authorities for VA to study and veterans to use the drug for medicinal purposes.
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