Congress has given veterans the right to discuss medical marijuana use as a treatment option with Veterans Affairs doctors in states where medical marijuana is legalized.
The new legislation allows VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana and complete the required paperwork for state-legalized medical marijuana programs, but it doesn’t allow the VA to sell medical marijuana or cover costs for veterans, the Military Times reports.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer stated, “The death rate from opioids among VA health care is nearly double the national average. From what I hear from veterans is that medical marijuana has helped them deal with pain and PTSD, particularly as an alternative to opioids.”
The VA is recommending that its doctors use evidence-based therapies that have been proven by scientific research to be effective with medical marijuana; for instance, treating PTSD, depression or chronic pain.