Cannabis for Veterans

 

Answering the call to serve in the United States Armed Forces and the Coast Guard deserves recognition by all Americans. During an impromptu conversation over coffee at a local cafe, an army officer told me something that completely changed my perspective. “Being thanked is nice, but we all chose to wear the uniform. There are so many Veterans living with chronic pain and PTSD, it’s better to ask, how are you doing?”. Although Veterans may have left active service, too many suffer consequences from honorably serving their country. The tragedy is compounded in that Veterans Administration policy does not provide Veterans access to medical cannabis that may help those suffering from chronic pain, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or other conditions.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the VA’s 2021 unconscionable, dangerous medical cannabis policy:

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is required to follow all federal laws including those regarding marijuana. As long as the FDA classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, VA health care providers may not recommend it or assist Veterans to obtain it.
  • At present, most products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or other cannabinoids are not approved.
  • VA clinicians may not complete paperwork/forms required for Veteran patients to participate in state-approved marijuana programs.
  • 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.
Everyone at DSY feels it's essential to support our nation's Veterans and tell their stories. We've partnered with the Veterans Cannabis Coalition and their efforts to change US policy about Veterans' access to medicinal cannabis.

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