POLITICS & ELECTIONS

GOP rejects against bill to study cannabis to help veterans

Apr 26, 2023, 7:48 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 8: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters foll...

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 8: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters following a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill on February 8, 2022 in Washington, DC. McConnell answered a range of questions, including commenting about the Republican National Committee (RNC) censuring Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A group of Senate Republicans Wednesday unexpectedly rejected efforts to advance a bipartisan bill that would direct the Veterans Affairs Department to carry out studies and clinical trials on the use of cannabis to treat veterans’ chronic pain and PTSD.

The vote on the procedural measure was 57-42, falling shy of the 60 need to move forward.

The move came after a “spirited debate” in the Senate Republican policy lunch, according to Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, that took place just before the vote.

Critics warned of substantive, procedural and political concerns, including the recognition that if the bill passed the Senate, it could be perceived as a big win for Sen. Jon Tester, the Democrat who chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee and who is up for reelection in the red state of Montana.

Democratic leaders had expected the vote to be successful, in part, because it had unanimous bipartisan support in committee, and planned to complete debate next week and pass it.

Eight Republicans did support it, including Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, the top Republican on the committee.

Cornyn explained there are concerns about the methodology of the proposed clinical trials because “this retrospective study would be done strictly through volunteers who would come forward and talk about their experience with marijuana and PTSD,” and “it depends on people to self-select and we don’t know how that would skew the results.”

Cornyn said Republicans also didn’t have “assurances” they could offer amendments to the bill and said there are questions whether whatever passes the Senate will be taken up in the GOP-controlled House.

Cornyn suggested negotiations over the legislation will continue and the Senate may take it up back up soon. He described the vote Wednesday as “hitting the pause button.”

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “regrettable” the bill was blocked and said he hoped talks to revive it would be successful. In order to be procedurally positioned to call up another vote on the bill, Schumer switched his vote to “no.”


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

FILE - The Utah Capitol is shown on March 3, 2023. A Utah legislative committee voted not to advanc...

Daniel Woodruff

Utah lawmaker’s push to regulate short-term rentals falls short

A Utah legislative committee voted not to advance a bill that would have imposed regulations on short-term rentals in the state.

1 hour ago

The Larry H. Miller Company and Miller family unveiled renderings for the Power District, a nearly ...

Lindsay Aerts

MLB stadium financing plan gets House committee OK amid hotel industry concerns 

The plan to help finance a major league baseball stadium, and the area surrounding it on Salt Lake's west side, is moving forward at the Utah legislature.  

1 day ago

Gov. Cox in D.C....

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Governors don’t have ‘luxury of partisan posturing,’ Cox says during White House briefing

As state leaders, governors don't have the "luxury of partisan posturing" and must instead work to balance budgets and fix infrastructure, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said during a press briefing at the White House in Washington on Friday.

1 day ago

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 photo, containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored ...

Associated Press

Facing backlash over IVF ruling, Alabama lawmakers look for a fix

Lawmakers began scrambling for ways to protect Alabama in vitro fertilization services after multiple providers paused services in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under a state law.

1 day ago

Utah lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prohibit the Utah attorney general from engaging in ...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Legislature seeks to bar attorney general from private law practice while in office

Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prohibit the state attorney general from engaging in private practice while in office.

1 day ago

Jodi Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke on an advertisement for the ConneXions program....

Shelby Lofton

Life coaching regulations under consideration following Hildebrandt case

A bill regulating life coaching programs in Utah is on hold to give the Utah Division of Professional Licensing more time to study the profession.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

GOP rejects against bill to study cannabis to help veterans