05 Mar 2018
In November, we met Charlotte who is one of Barbara Comstock’s many dissatisfied constituents. Her brother was a former marine who had died recently and she asked us to help get her a “meeting” with Barbara Comstock. She wanted to discuss the issue of medical marijuana and why Comstock voted to block veterans from accessing a potentially beneficial treatment for PTSD.
Comstock initially tried to storm off without speaking to Charlotte, but once she realized she was the sister of a dead marine, she reluctantly stumbled through a response without breaking a stride.
Not only does Comstock give a rambling and incoherent answer, but it is also full of inaccuracies.
You can see from watching this video why Barbara Comstock refuses to hold an in person town hall. She has zero grasp of the issues and is incapable of explaining her votes.
No provision of federal law blocks the department from allowing its doctors to fill out medical cannabis recommendation forms in states where it is legal, even under continued federal prohibition.
In Comstock’s first year in Congress, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced an amendment to a short term spending bill, which would have effectively forced the VA to change it’s medical marijuana policy. Comstock voted against the amendment and it failed by only three votes.
Charlotte asked Comstock if that were to come up again would she vote differently, to which Comstock replied:
“Doctors can prescribe some things but … you know … talking to you on the fly about it … I think I’d rather make sure that we get all of the information.”
It turns out that it did come up again - just one month later - and Comstock voted against it.
Later that year Blumenauer introduced an amendment to the VA budget. This time the amendment passed with strong bi-partisan support but Comstock still voted against it. The Senate also passed a bill with similar language but it was stripped out in conference.
How did an amendment that passed both houses get stripped out of the conference report?
Answer: The GOP leadership opposed it even though it had strong bi-partisan support. And that is your explanation for why Barbara Comstock voted against it as well. She has no idea what the VA policy is or why she is against changing it. She just does what Paul Ryan tells her.
Finally, let’s clear up another false statement Comstock made in the video.
“I know there’s a lot of concerns about this but there are ways doctors are able to do it now”
That’s just flat out wrong. VA doctors are not allowed to issue recommendations that would allow patients to access medicinal marijuana. VA Secretary Shulkin made this quite clear in an interview last year.
“Until the federal law changes we are not able to be able to prescribe medical marijuana for conditions that may be helpful.”
- Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states plus D.C.
- It can help veterans suffering from PTSD
- State law requires a doctor’s recommendation to obtain medicinal marijuana
- VA doctors are prohibited from making these recommendations
- There is strong bipartisan support to fix this
- Comstock voted against fixing this policy on two separate occasions
Barbara Comstock is failing our veterans by denying them the medication they need.