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VA Clarifies Medical Marijuana Policy

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Last week we brought you an article about medical marijuana on VA property.

The VA cops stated that even if a veteran has a prescription for medical marijuana, it is not allowed on VA property because it violates federal law ... regardless of state law.

Now the VA has clarified that.

"However, it is acknowledged that testing positive for marijuana in a patient, based upon a random drug screening, will not serve as a breach of the current pain management agreement if the patient submits documentation in support of the marijuana being prescribed and dispensed in conformity with Michigan law."

This would appear to be VA policy in all states where medical marijuana is allowed by law. Remember, it is still not allowed on VA property because of federal law.

Many VA physicians will work with patients to help them obtain medical marijuana if needed. VA physicians cannot write a prescription or even give a referral to a "marijuana doctor." But, there are ways around that ... and this is done all the time.

A friend of mine was going through chemo and couldn't keep food down. His VA doctor handed him a business card of a civilian doctor. My friend went to the civilian doc, got a medical marijuana scrip, and managed to get through his chemo and keep food down at the same time.

A suggestion to vets who might benefit from medical marijuana: Just ask your VA physician ... most times they will get you headed in the right direction.

The complete statement on veterans and medical marijuana is below:


Editor, The News:

As a clarification to the article on medical marijuana in the VA, it is important for veteran patients and visitors of the VA medical center in Saginaw and community based outpatient clinics in Alpena, Clare, Gaylord, Oscoda and Traverse City to understand how the new law regarding the use of medical marijuana will be handled by VA medical center police and practitioners.

The legalization of medical marijuana in Michigan is acknowledged. However, pursuant to federal law, VA physicians, nurse practitioners and other licensed clinicians are not authorized or permitted to participate in the recommendation for treatment of or prescribing medical marijuana to a VA patient that would otherwise be legal in Michigan. Furthermore, the VA will not dispense, prescribe or store medical marijuana, and its possession on VA property remains illegal and a criminal offense.

However, it is acknowledged that testing positive for marijuana in a patient, based upon a random drug screening, will not serve as a breach of the current pain management agreement if the patient submits documentation in support of the marijuana being prescribed and dispensed in conformity with Michigan law.

The above withstanding, veteran patients and visitors who are registered users of medical marijuana must follow all laws and regulations for the possession and use of the medical marijuana and shall not bring medical marijuana on the grounds of the VA medical center. Possession on federal grounds remains illegal and may subject the possessor to appropriate criminal charges.

Our priority to provide quality health care to veterans remains steadfast. A veteran's care and the right to pain management continue to be very important in enhancing the veteran's health care outcomes.

Veterans with questions or concerns regarding their participation with medical marijuana may be directed to their primary care provider.

Gabriel Perez
director
Lutz Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Saginaw


News Hawk: User: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: VA Watchdog dot Org
Author: Larry Scott
Copyright: 2009 VA Watchdog dot Org
Contact: VA Watchdog dot Org -- Home Page - Keeping an eye on the VA because somebody has to!
Website: VA CLARIFIES MEDICAL MARIJUANA POLICY -- Vets with medical marijuana prescription who test positive will not be removed from pain management programs. - VA Watchdog dot Org - 05-28-2009
 
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