2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans

2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans
© Greg Nash

2020 presidential hopeful Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonRepublicans attempt to amend retirement savings bill to include anti-BDS language CNN's O'Rourke town hall finishes behind Fox News, MSNBC Pelosi employs committee chairs to tamp down calls for Trump impeachment MORE (D-Mass.) on Friday endorsed expanding marijuana access for veterans. 

The Marine veteran wrote in the conservative Washington Examiner that in recent days he has introduced three bills to "modernize the VA's [Veterans Administration] cannabis policies." He noted his work with Republican Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report 2020 Dem Seth Moulton calls for expanding cannabis access for veterans Hillicon Valley: Trump takes flak for not joining anti-extremism pact | Phone carriers largely end sharing of location data | Huawei pushes back on ban | Florida lawmakers demand to learn counties hacked by Russians | Feds bust 0M cybercrime group MORE (Fla.) on the legislation. 

The legislation would prevent veterans who tell their doctors about pot use from losing their benefits, create a survey of veterans so medical providers can learn about their marijuana use and expand access to educational resources, Moulton wrote. He noted that he knows Marines who use weed, but can't discuss their usage with doctors for fear of losing their benefits.

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"Veterans seeking cannabis aren’t druggies," he wrote. "Many are American heroes who deserve a VA that researches cannabis and protects veterans from opioids using any method that’s safe. Federal drug laws currently prevent researchers from figuring that out."

Moulton argued that he believes allowing veterans to discuss and access marijuana will help the U.S. in general progress on the issue. 

"Making the VA a place where veterans can discuss and maybe someday access cannabis, will help our country evolve on this issue too," he wrote. "Through that evolution, I believe we will be able to tackle bigger challenges together — like ending the fundamentally-unjust process of locking people up for possessing marijuana, and, in effect, sentencing them to a lifetime of fewer job opportunities."

Moulton also voiced his support for releasing people who are incarcerated for marijuana possession and expunging their records. 

The Massachusetts lawmaker has launched a long-shot bid for the presidency, one of two dozen people vying for the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination. 

Several other Democratic White House hopefuls have gone further than Moulton on the issue, supporting legalizing pot at the federal level, including Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Senate confirms Army, Navy chiefs MORE (D-N.Y.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersGillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay: AP MORE (I-Vt.).