Senate confirms cannabis legalization advocate to key role at Dept. of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Senate has confirmed cannabis proponent and former New Jersey health commissioner Shereef Elnahal as undersecretary for health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As New Jersey’s health commissioner, he oversaw the state’s expansion of its medical cannabis program under Gov. Phil Murphy. In 2018, Elnahal Tweeted, “Marijuana needs to be de-scheduled at the federal level. Enough is enough.”
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said Elnahal “will play a critical role in [the] VA’s mission to provide timely access to world-class health care to the more than nine million veterans we serve.” The Senate voted 66 to 23 on Thursday to approve Elnahal, who was nominated in March by President Joe Biden. Elnahal most recently worked as president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, N.J.

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