- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls marijuana discussion for VA doctors ‘premature’
Question of the Day
The usually progressive Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Wednesday that she broke ranks with fellow Democrats to vote against allowing federal doctors to discuss medical marijuana with patients because the move was “premature.”
Mrs. Wasserman Schultz, who also serves as chairwoman of the National Democratic Committee, was one of just 18 House Democrats who joined 204 Republicans in a vote last week to defeat a measure that would have authorized Veterans Administration doctors in states that have approved marijuana for medical or recreational use to talk to patients about the drug.
She said she sided with Republicans because she was waiting for the results of a medical study on using marijuana to treat post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
“There was a study that was just commissioned to review the effectiveness marijuana has on PTSD patients. So I thought it was premature to adopt that amendments before the results of the study,” Mrs. Wasserman Schultz said a breakfast meeting with reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
She insisted the legislation narrowly addressed the treatment of service members suffering form PTSD. “It was for PTSD,” she said.
Proponents of the legislation argued for the use of marijuana to treat PTSD and traumatic brain injuries suffered by service members, but it would have let VA doctors talk about the drug for treating any condition.
“I just don’t buy her excuse,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a group that advocates for the legalizing pot. “There has to be something else going on there.”
He urged Mrs. Wasserman Schultz to “just leave medical marijuana decisions up to doctors rather than Washington politicians.”
Mr. Angell said that Mrs. Wasserman Schultz was an “outlier” on the issue both among Democrats and in her state, where a recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 88 percent of voters support legalizing medical marijuana.
The issue will be on the Florida ballot in November.
“It could be that she is one of those extremely cautions Democrats or she may be fearing campaign attack ads that will never come,” Mr. Angell said. “She’s going to look very silly when the voters of her state vote overwhelmingly this November to legalize medical marijuana.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Steven A Miller
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- House calls for immigration enforcement in Central America
- John Boehner blasts Obama's 'lack of leadership' on border
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Babson College, BYU win top spots in Money magazine's college rankings
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- D.C. plans to seek stay of order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq