The Truth About Why VA Can’t Prescribe CBD
Washington DC along with thirty other US states have already made cannabis legal for adult use. Reportedly, the majority of Americans nationwide also support the legalization of cannabis. And yet, over 20 million Veterans are unable to receive affordable, safe and legal access to cannabis. Doctors employed by the US Department of Veteran Affairs are only allowed to have a discussion with their patients regarding medical cannabis even in states that have already legalized it. Even states such as Colorado and California are not permitting VA doctors to prescribe cannabis. What is the truth about why VA can’t prescribe CBD?
Veterans need to know that marijuana is classified by federal law as a Schedule One Controlled Substance, which makes it illegal in the eyes of the federal government.
CBD could help US Veterans who are two times more likely to die from an accidental overdose. Also, more than twenty of those Veterans are committing suicide every day. The American Legion conducted a survey back in 2017 that resulted in finding 82 percent of caregivers and Veterans want to have CBD as a federally legal treatment option, 92 percent are supportive in the research and 20 percent of Veterans have reported they already use cannabis for treatment for medical or physical conditions. Three legislative proposals have already been opposed by the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase research on CBD in order to provide veterans the option to use the drug in states where it is legal.
The Truth About Why VA Can’t Prescribe CBD
Veterans Affairs officials stated to lawmakers of the House that until federal law states that marijuana is not illegal, the VA will not support any legislation that advocates its part at the Veterans Affairs.
It is required by law that The Veterans Affairs follows all federal laws which include those in regards to marijuana. The Veterans Affairs healthcare providers cannot suggest or help Veterans to have access to CBD as long as the FDA considers it a classified Schedule One Controlled Substance.
VA services and care eligibility are not affected by their taking part in state programs regarding marijuana. In fact, as part of the complete care planning, VA providers are able to and do talk about CBD use as an option for treatment and are ready to modify plans for treatment as necessary.
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” ~Charles Spurgeon
Important Information Regarding the VA and CBD
- The use of marijuana does not affect veterans benefits
- The discussion of marijuana by veterans to their providers is encouraged
- Healthcare providers of the VA do record the use of marijuana in a Veteran’s medical records just to have that information available for the planning of treatment. This is clinical information so it is confidential and is secured under regulations and laws of confidentiality and privacy as is with all clinical data.
- Although they can discuss CBD, VA clinicians cannot recommend it as part of a treatment program.
- Unfortunately, only FDA approved medications can be prescribed by VA clinicians. To date, most products that contain CBD, THC, or any other forms of cannabinoids are not FDA approved for this intent.
- Even marijuana programs that are approved by the state are not allowed to be pursued by VA clinicians.
- Medical marijuana prescriptions are not allowed to be filled by any VA pharmacies.
- No prescription for medicinal marijuana will be paid by a VA pharmacy.
- Scientists involved with the VA may do research on the risks and benefits of marijuana and the possibility for abuse under managerial approval.
- It is a federal law, not a law of the state that prohibits the possession or use of marijuana at any and all VA medical grounds, locations and centers.
- As per the provisions of employment, all veterans employed by the VA are required to participate in drug testing.
So, what do you say to a veteran that suffers from PTSD?
or other invisible scars that opioids are clearly not helping? How can you argue with the veterans that say cannabis oil definitely works for them? Is there really an argument you can use to oppose it?
According to the Military Times, Rep. Lou Correa seems to think that 2019 may be the year that cannabis oil could become legal nationwide for veterans.
US Department of Veterans Affairs: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/marijuana.asp