Medical Marijuana

VHA Allows Patients to Discuss Medical Cannabis Options


VHA directive – 1315 – dated Dec. 8, “VHA providers and/or pharmacists” are now allowed to discuss medical cannabis options with their patients but are still prohibited from authorizing medical cannabis use.

“VHA providers and/or pharmacists should discuss with patients how their use of State-approved medical marijuana to treat medical or psychiatric symptoms or conditions may relate to the Veterans participation in other clinical activities, (e.g., discuss how marijuana may impact other aspects of the overall care of the Veteran such as how marijuana may interact with other medications the Veteran is taking, or how the use of marijuana may impact other aspects of the overall care of the Veteran such as pain management, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or substance use disorder treatment).”

The directive includes warnings. The Department of Veterans Affairs will not provide or pay for medical cannabis treatments and veterans are advised not to bring medical cannabis onto VA property – which is owned by the federal government. If patients disclose their cannabis use to VHA physicians, it will be included in the veteran’s medical record as “non-VA/herbal/Over the Counter (OTC) medication section.”

While the directive is not full-on policy reform, it at least allows veterans treated at the VHA to finally discuss their medical cannabis use – or potentially using medical cannabis – with their doctor.

Reposted from Ganjapreneur Original Article written by TG Branfalt for Ganjapreneur 

The American Legion, a veterans organization that has more than 2 million members, called on the VA to support the clinical trial in September. “We ask for your direct involvement to ensure this critical research is fully enabled,” wrote the organization’s National Commander Denis Rohan in a letter to Shulkin. “[The study] could potentially produce scientific evidence that will enhance, improve, and save the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.


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