VHA directive 1315 was issued on 8 December 2017. This enunciates the current Veterans Health Administration policies regarding patients and employees who are in state approved medical marijuana programs.
Here are some highlights:
- VA providers should talk to veteran patients about their state approved medical marijuana and how it relates to current VA health care like mental health services, pain services, etc.
- VA providers cannot recommend and VA pharmacies cannot stock medical marijuana
“Veterans must not be denied VHA services solely because they are participating in State-approved marijuana programs.”
- This is new and important. If your provider stops any treatment just because you are in the NYS Medical Marijuana Program, please refer them to this directive.
- VA employees, even veterans getting care at the VA, cannot use state approved medical marijuana (comment: this is ridiculous and needs to be changed).
So the upshot is: things are improving slowly at the VA, but we have to keep up the pressure on the system. Call your congressman’s local office and tell them you want marijuana downscheduled from Schedule I.