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Federal Agency (Va) Accepts Medical Marijuana With New Directive

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Department of Veterans Affairs


Veterans Health Administration

Washington, DC 20420

July 22, 2010


1. PURPOSE: The purpose of this Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive is to provide guidance on access to and the use of medical marijuana by Veteran patients.


a. Fourteen states have enacted laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana. These authorizations generally require a physician to complete forms stipulating that a patient suffers from one or more of a variety of conditions and would benefit from the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Medical conditions associated with the use of medical marijuana include, but are not limited to: glaucoma, chemotherapy induced nausea, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain. Veterans who receive their care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and who have a desire to participate in state medical marijuana programs might ask their VA physicians to complete these authorization forms.

b. State laws authorizing the use of medical marijuana are contrary to Federal law. The Controlled Substances Act (Title 21 United States Code (U.S.C.) 801 et al.) designates marijuana as a Schedule I drug meaning that it has no currently accepted medical use and there are criminal penalties associated with its production, distribution, and possession. A VA physician’s completion of a form that would permit a patient to participate in a state medical marijuana program could result in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s actual or threatened revocation of the physician’s registration to prescribe controlled substances, as well as criminal charges.

c. VHA policy does not prohibit Veterans who use medical marijuana from participating in VHA substance abuse programs, pain control programs, or other clinical programs where the use of marijuana may be considered inconsistent with treatment goals. Although patients participating in state medical marijuana programs must not be denied VHA services, modifications may need to be made in their treatment plans. Decisions to modify treatment plans in those situations are best made by individual providers in partnership with their patients. VHA endorses a step-care model for the treatment of patients with chronic pain: any prescription(s) for chronic pain should be managed under the auspices of such programs described in VHA policy regarding Pain Management.

3. POLICY: VA providers must comply with all Federal laws, including the Controlled Substances Act. Due to marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, it is VHA policy to prohibit VA providers from completing forms seeking


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Yet another example where politicians should just shut their mouths. Who the hell are they to tell any American Veteran who has fought for our country that they can or cannot smoke marijuana. Yet they are more than willing to let the people who are doing the fighting get hooked on oxycontin and destroy their lives. Maybe some of these politicians missed the class where patriotism was covered.

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Actually its pro-veteran. Before that directive came out they could deny vets services and treatments.


It's a step in the right direction. My comment was more broadly directed towards politicians whose constituents are American Veterans who live in nonmedical marijuana states.

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