The relationship between veterans and medical marijuana has been a topic of increasing interest and discussion in recent years.
Many veterans suffer from serious physical and mental health issues resulting from their service, and like many others they seek alternative treatments to improve their quality of life.
Medical marijuana is one such alternative that has garnered attention. In this article, we’ll explore what veterans should know about medical marijuana, taking into consideration information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The Challenge of Veterans’ Health
Veterans often face unique health challenges, both physical and mental, due to their service. Common issues include anxiety disorders, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These conditions can significantly impact the overall well-being of veterans, and not all treatments are effective, making it essential for some to explore different treatment options.
Medical marijuana has shown promise in treating these various health conditions, and many veterans turn to medical marijuana because it offers a potential alternative to traditional medications, which can sometimes have undesirable side effects or not work at all.
Important Information From the VA
While federal law continues to classify all forms of marijuana as a Schedule One Controlled Substance, this makes it illegal in the eyes of the federal government and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
However, the VA has recognized the growing interest in medical marijuana and has provided key guidelines for veterans seeking information and treatment options:
- 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.
- Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use and are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers. This clinical information is part of your confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
- Because of federal laws, VA Clinicians:
- The use or possession of marijuana is still 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. Consider this if you are employed by or seeking employment with the VA.
Should You Start a New Medical Marjiuana Treatment Program?
Veterans’ health and well-being are of utmost importance, and the challenges they face deserve careful consideration. Medical marijuana is one potential option for managing various health conditions, but it comes with legal complexities, particularly for veterans seeking treatment through VA facilities.
It’s crucial for veterans to educate themselves on the medical marijuana laws and regulations in their state, discuss their health needs with healthcare providers, and consider alternative treatments when medical marijuana may not be an option.
As the landscape of medical marijuana evolves, veterans should stay informed to make the best decisions for their health and quality of life.
TIP: CCC provides special discounts to veterans seeking a PA medical marijuana card. For more information on this or any other questions regarding our services please contact us at 888-316-9085.
Getting Certified for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
Under the current medical marijuana laws in PA, residents, including veterans, who have a serious medical condition as certified by an approved physician like ours at CCC are considered medical marijuana patients.
They are eligible for certification on an annual basis, and are required to renew their certification with their doctor each year before their certification expires.
To learn more about how you can get a PA medical marijuana card with CCC, or to learn more about qualifying conditions and more, visit our patient and caregiver resources below.
- Approved Forms of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
- Common Myths About Medical Marijuana
- A Patient Guide to the PA Medical Marijuana Program
Ready for a new or renewing patient consultation? Schedule an appointment to speak with a PA-certified MMJ Doctor at CCC today!