Veterans are often confused about what they can and cannot do when it comes ot using cannabis. The VA’s position has evolved and here is recommendations for veterans based on their 2017 Directive.
VA and Marijuana – What Veterans need to know
- 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.
View the full directive ”Access to VHA Clinical Programs for Veterans Participating in State-Approved Marijuana Programs (73 KB, PDF).” (VHA Directive 1315)
Oregon Veterans that participate in Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program have not experienced any particular difficulty with service or benefits and have worked with their Patient Advocate when necessary.