fbpx
//The VA and Marijuana: What Veterans Need to Know

The VA and Marijuana: What Veterans Need to Know

The VA and Marijuana: What Veterans Need to Know

Many veterans support the research of medicinal marijuana because of the benefits of products such as CBD lotion for pain. While these products are not legal everywhere, veterans are attempting to legalize them for the benefit of those with pain, and for veterans who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

With 83% of veterans supporting medical marijuana programs, veterans are lobbying lawmakers and demanding that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs perform research on the efficacy and safety of hemp-derived CBD for the treatment of PTSD. Veterans also want studies conducted to find out if CBD would be an effective alternative to addictive pain medications such as morphine for chronic pain relief.

On March 1, 2019, the VA San Diego Healthcare System began a study regarding the efficacy and safety of CBD when treating post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. This research is a significant step toward making life easier for not only veterans but anyone who experiences chronic pain.

Is This Research Study What Veterans Have Been Longing For?

It does appear that veterans may have something cheer about. Clinical trials began in San Diego to perform research on the efficacy and safety of CBD when used for the treatment of PTSD in conjunction with psychotherapy.

Although VA Research Communications released an article on the official Department of Affairs website entitled, “San Diego VA study testing cannabidiol – a compound derived from cannabis – for PTSD,” the actual CBD compound they are studying is not derived from a cannabis plant at all. The researchers are using a synthetic, lab created, version of the isolated CBD molecule instead of the naturally occurring form found in a cannabis plant. While the CBD molecule is significant in the relief, the cannabis plant contains a variety of other compounds that could also contribute to the therapeutic effects.

Is This Research Study What Veterans Have Been Longing For?

Physicians Have Their Hands Tied

Although 34 states now allow medical cannabis, none of the VA doctors can prescribe it. The VA prohibits their physicians from writing prescriptions for medical marijuana regardless of what state they practice in, citing marijuana’s federally illegal; schedule 1, controlled substance status.

VA doctors are also prohibited from recommending treatment with medicinal marijuana in any of its available forms, including CBD lotion for pain, a popular option.

Veterans cannot be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use. VA pharmacies will not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana, and the VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions.

Possession of Marijuana on VA Property

All of the VA Medical Centers and the property they sit on are considered federal property; therefore, even with a legitimate prescription for medical marijuana, veterans still face prosecution if it’s found in their possession. Typically, any medications they bring with them are securely stored and returned to them upon discharge, but since marijuana is considered federally illegal, they instead get in legal trouble.

Take Home

Veterans are fighting a stigma that the government placed on marijuana in 1937 when they first passed the Marijuana Tax Act criminalizing it. With their continued efforts, hopefully, products such as hemp oil for pain relief will be legal for them to use soon.

Veterans fight for the safety and protection of the United States and many times come back wounded and even earn the prestigious Purple Heart Medal. With Purple Heart Day coming up on August 7th, it is important to remember those who fought and were injured defending the freedom of others.

While you may not need CBD oil for pain relief, someone else might. With research, these products can prove to be safer and more natural than what is legally on the market. Veterans were wounded while protecting us abroad, so let’s try to protect them in America and help support research for the legalization and standardization of CBD products for service members.

Related Posts