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Senate GOP votes down bill calling on VA to study marijuana as PTSD, pain remedy

Senate Republicans on Wednesday defeated a bill calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to research marijuana as a remedy for post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

Senators voted 57 to 42 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill, falling short of the 60 votes necessary for it to advance.

Eight Republicans — Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Eric Schmitt (Mo.) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska) — voted alongside every Democrat to advance the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) switched his vote from “aye” to “nay” in order to have the ability to bring the legislation to the floor again in the future. He lamented that the bill was not able to move forward despite the support of numerous veterans groups and marijuana advocates.

“It’s regrettable that this bill, which so much helps our veterans, went down,” Schumer said. “I hope that some of our members on the other side of the aisle who didn’t vote for it will reconsider.”

Some Senate Republicans indicated that their main concern with the proposal was indeed the marijuana-related provisions and argued it was unnecessary.

“When the conversation about how to serve our veterans after all they sacrificed is to give them marijuana — we have failed our veterans,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) tweeted earlier on Wednesday.  [Read More @ The Hill]


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