Powerful Chair of Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee opposes legalizing marijuana

Jake Hughes
July 10, 2018 - 1:39 pm

(Photo by Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS/Sipa USA)

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Medical marijuana in the form of CBD oil may be useful for medicinal purposes, yet the Chairman of the Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee says he still opposes legalizing marijuana - a Schedule One drug.  

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) remains firm in his stance that cannabidiol oil has medical purposes, but actual marijuana doesn’t.

“The real question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Am I looking at this issue purely from the medical benefit, or am I looking at it as a backdoor towards legalizing a Schedule One drug? I am against legalizing any drug currently on the Schedules,” Isakson (R-GA) tells Connecting Vets in a one-on-one interview.  He also discussed a myriad of topics, such as burn pit legislation, veteran suicide and the state of the VA.

Isakson has a special connection to the military.  He is a veteran, himself, who transitioned out in 1972.

“The benefits are more robust, and the challenges are many more than there used to be. We try our best to meet the needs (of transitioning service members), but one of the biggest problems is that veterans fall through the cracks because they don’t get the right transitional help, from DOD healthcare to VA healthcare.”

One of the most important pieces of legislation passing through the Senate VA committee was The Mission Act, which, among many other things, improved the help given to veteran caregivers. “Two years ago, I said my goal as chairman was total reform of the VA, but whatever we did, to be sure that we got caregiver benefits to our service members, and not just the modern ones. Also to the caregivers of the Vietnam era veterans, as they're the ones that need it most,” says Isakson.

Isakson is happy to see more veterans getting into politics, but he'd like to see more. “I think it’s a great resume option for someone to serve in Congress. These days, the number of vets in the Congress is below 30%. That’s not very good when you talk about someone who will pass your budget, establish your policies. So I’m glad, and I hope people give these vets a good look.”

For veterans who hope for help, look no further than your representatives, says Isakson. “If you have a problem with your local VA, call your state’s senator, or your local representative. The better we know what you’re dealing with out in the field, the better we can fix it in Congress.”

Listen to the full interview here:

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