Federal Cannabis News – Biden’s VA Updates.
The Biden Administration’s recent decision to allow VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana usage with veterans is an important step forward for cannabis reform in the US. In the past, VA doctors were not allowed to even mention medical marijuana due to federal restrictions, so this change marks a major shift in policy. This has been welcomed by veteran advocacy groups as a way of helping those who have served our country and may be suffering from chronic conditions that could be improved with medical marijuana treatment.
It also reflects a broader trend of increasing acceptance of cannabis in the US, as more states legalize recreational and medical use every year. Biden’s decision will likely help encourage further development of research on how cannabis can help treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress (PTSD), chronic pain, depression, and anxiety in veterans.
Some things Veteran need to know about marijuana and the VA:
Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
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 not recommend medical marijuana.
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 clinicians may not complete paperwork/forms required for Veteran patients to participate in state-approved marijuana programs.
VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana.
VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.
VA scientists may conduct research on marijuana benefits and risks, and potential for abuse, under regulatory approval.
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.