Military Veterans can use Medical Marijuana without losing eligibility for VA care and services

Veterans can now use medical marijuana without risking their eligibility for services, support and care, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Veteran participation in state marijuana programs does not affect eligibility for VA care and services. VA providers can and do discuss marijuana use with Veterans as part of comprehensive care planning, and adjust treatment plans as necessary."

U.S Department Veteran Affairs Tweet

Some things Veteran need to know about marijuana and the VA:

  • Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
  • VA clinicians may not recommend medical marijuana.
  • VA scientists may conduct research on marijuana benefits and risks, and potential for abuse, under regulatory approval.
  • Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
  • VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veteran’s VA medical record in order to have the information available in treatment planning. As with all clinical information, this is part of the confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
  • VA clinicians may only prescribe medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use. At present most products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or other cannabinoids are not approved for this purpose by the FDA.
  • VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana.
  • VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.
  • The use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds. When you are on VA grounds it is federal law that is in force, not the laws of the state.
  • Veterans who are VA employees are subject to drug testing under the terms of employment.

This is great news for Veterans

Some veterans have long used cannabis to cope and heal with the injuries from war. However, in the past they risked losing their benefits from the VA because marijuana is federally illegal. Now this has changed. Medical marijuana has been used to help with PTSD, Sleep and pain. These are common issues that veterans deal with in their post service life.

The use of medical marijuana also helps keep veterans off of harmful  opiates that have lead to high levels of addiction, overdose and death. This is a great step forward for the U.S.

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