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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 MoultonLawmakers want Pentagon, DOJ to punish current, former military members who participated in riot House chairman endorses Michele Flournoy for Biden's Pentagon chief Trump critic: I am not afraid of Trump 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) GaetzTrump, allies raise pressure on Senate GOP ahead of impeachment Cheney spokesperson on Gaetz: 'In Wyoming, the men don't wear make-up' Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency 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 BookerDemocrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Booker brings girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson, to inauguration MORE (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTim Ryan says he's 'looking seriously' at running for Portman's Senate seat Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Skepticism reigns as Biden, McConnell begin new era MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense: Biden lifts Trump's transgender military ban | Democrats, advocates celebrate end of ban | 5,000 guardsmen staying in DC through mid-March Democrats torn on impeachment trial timing OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: 12 removed from National Guard inauguration security | Austin backs lifting transgender ban MORE (D-N.Y.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersTim Ryan says he's 'looking seriously' at running for Portman's Senate seat Bernie Sanders has been most-followed member of Congress on social media for six years This week: Senate stuck in limbo MORE (I-Vt.).