Republican Introduces New Medicinal Marijuana Bill

Virginia Rep. Morgan Griffith (R) recently introduced a bill in Congress that would make medicinal marijuana easier to research, prescribe and use in states with abiding laws.

The four-page bill “would remove the federal obstacle to prescribing and possessing medical marijuana in states where that is legal, such as Virginia,” according to the Washington Post. It would also reclassify the drug, moving it from Schedule I to Schedule II under the Justice Department’s controlled substances list so that it is no longer grouped with harder drugs.

Griffith was inspired by the stories of people with illnesses like epilepsy and cancer who were able to use marijuana medicinally to vastly improve their conditions. Some moved to Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, while others had to obtain it illegally.

“Isn’t it cruel,” Griffith said, “to not allow real doctors, real drug companies and real pharmacists to use marijuana for legitimate medical reasons for real patients? We use all sorts of opioids under the same scenario that this bill would allow us to use marijuana.”

Obama Promises to Address VA Issues

Earlier this week, President Obama vented his anger towards the allegations of misconduct at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals, and promised to remove anyone responsible for the alleged acts.

During a press conference, Obama expressed his approach on the VA claims, stating, “I will not stand for it. Not as commander-in-chief, but also not as an American.”

The allegations stemmed from consistent reports of veterans being waited on too slowly; in some cases, the wait lasted over a year.  In late April, arguably the most shocking report of VA mistreatment was released.

CNN reported that 40 U.S. veterans died at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, as they waited for treatment. From there, it was discovered that a “secret wait list” was being used by the care center, of which top management knew.

Obama vows to address the veteran care issues, and claims, “Once we know the facts, I assure you, if there was misconduct, people will be punished,” he said.

Ryan to Headline GOP Fundraiser in Roanoke

US Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wi)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) will headline the GOP’s fundraising dinner on June 6 in Roanoke, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The gala will occur on the first day of the state Republican Convention. During convention, the party will choose their candidate to challenge Sen. Mark Warner (D).

The dinner, called the Commonwealth Gala, includes various levels of sponsorship and allows attendees to brush elbows with some of Virginia’s political elite. For $2,500, one could become a “gala dinner host” and receive four VIP reception tickets, a photo with Rep. Ryan and dinner for 10 guests.

The tickets for the dinner start at $75.

McAuliffe Campaign Gives Democrats 2014 Playbook

Outside money makes a difference, as demonstrated by Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe’s successful bid for the state’s highest office.

McAuliffe’s campaign could provide a template for future Democrats’ campaigns, and serves as a warning to Republicans.

According to the Associated Press, “Nominally independent committees, political action groups, environmentalists and unions poured almost $14 million into McAuliffe’s campaign. He went on to raise and spend almost $33 million to defeat Republican Ken Cuccinelli.”

However, money that didn’t go through McAuliffe’s campaign helped him just as much. In the weeks leading up to the election, allies spent an additional $3 million airing television ads in support of McAuliffe.

This year’s elections will be the first in which both parties fully embrace outside groups and their ability to influence voters.

Republicans Will Use VA Gubernatorial Race to Help in 2016 Presidential Election

An exclusive on CNN reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is following a “50 State Strategy” to gain support throughout the nation before the 2016 presidential election. This campaign technique was used by Democrats in the past, including Obama’s 2008 presidential election campaign.  

After Romney’s loss of the 2012 presidential election, Republicans are determined to win back their place in government. As part of the campaign, RNC hired new staffers and opened offices in Virginia and New Jersey to help with the competitive governor’s races. Kirsten Kukowski, RNC party spokeswoman, hopes to have “hundreds of staffers and nearly 100 offices around the country” by the end of the year. 

In Virginia, the RNC will be “testing voter contact efforts with controlled experiments and fine-tuning their engagement efforts with African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic communities who are firmly entrenched in the Democratic camp,” states Kukowski.