Veterans May Find Greater Support for Medical Marijuana
Veterans’ benefits can span far and wide depending on their level of service and service-connected disabilities. Things like retirement plans, VA home loans, GI bill, and (most importantly) medical care are all within reach of those who have served and qualify. However, veterans’ benefits have historically had somewhat of a stigma attached to them.
Some of our nation’s warriors have been vocal about not giving the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) their entire faith and confidence to provide a level of service that is reflective of their promise to vets. Thankfully, more recently, great changes have been made (and have paved the way for more changes) to the Veterans Benefits Administration and Veterans Healthcare System. Those vets who qualify for treatments like medical marijuana will find a much greater deal of support where previously there had only been red tape.
Medical Marijuana: Important Information for Veterans
There are certain things the government can and can’t do for you as a vet seeking to qualify for medical marijuana treatments. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website, here is a list of the things you, as a vet, need to know about medical cannabis and the VA:
- Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
- Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
- VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veteran’s VA medical record in order to have the information available in treatment planning. As with all clinical information, this is part of the confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
- VA clinicians may not recommend medical marijuana.
- VA clinicians may not prescribe products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), or any other cannabinoids.
- VA clinicians may not complete paperwork/forms required for Veteran patients to participate in state-approved marijuana programs.
- VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana.
- VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.
- The use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds. When you are on VA grounds it is federal law that is in force, not the laws of the state.
- Veterans who are VA employees are subject to drug testing under the terms of employment.
A Brother-in-Arms Joins the Fight
Nick Etten is a former Navy SEAL who conducted counter-narcotics operations in the 1990’s as a member of SEAL team 3. Once he completed his service, he attended the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. On the civilian side, he worked in finance; and during this time he was made aware of medical marijuana and it role in treating several different medical conditions. Since then, Etten has left the finance realm to focus on his new project: the Veterans Cannabis Project. The foundation looks to give veterans a voice while educating and raising awareness of medical marijuana and its uses.
Some veterans can’t afford medical marijuana; while others are afraid they may lose their VA benefits or even their job if they fail a drug test. Despite these difficulties, Etten has stated, “I saw time after time again veterans self-selecting that [cannabis] was a safer, more responsible choice for them as medicine.”
His foundation looks to help persuade the government to provide veterans with legal access to medical cannabis, and is certainly having a great deal of success more recently.
Liberty Health Sciences Partners with the Veterans Cannabis Project
Recently, two prominent entities in the battle to bring cannabis to those who may benefit from its use have engaged in a strategic partnership aimed at supporting research projects focused on the treatment of service-related trauma using medical cannabis.
As state laws become less stringent, there are a wide range of different conditions that qualify for treatment with medical marijuana. The partnership between Liberty Health Sciences and Veterans Cannabis Project seeks to help provide treatment options for those who have previously served America in the armed forces.
In an effort to launch this important alliance and demonstrate the company’s commitment to, and admiration for, veterans nationwide, Liberty Health Sciences will offer a 25% discount on all purchases for armed forces personnel. Additionally, a portion of sales will be donated to Veterans Cannabis Project to fund research and access to medical marijuana for veterans in need.
How veterans can get their medical marijuana card in Florida
We have put together a brief guide that outlines how veterans may qualify and apply for their medical marijuana card, found here: How Military Veterans Can Get Their Medical Marijuana Card in Florida.
In this guide, we break down the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Florida and offer resources for veterans and how they can find a state-certified physician in their area to recommend medical marijuana as a treatment option. From there, we outline the steps necessary for one to submit their application and get their card.
Be sure to ask your qualifying physician if they have any discounts available for veterans, as many clinics do provide special discounts to those who have served in the Armed Forces.
We’re here to help our veterans
If you already possess a medical marijuana card in Florida or if you have any questions on gaining access to medical marijuana in Florida, please call us at 833-254-4877 or email us at [email protected].
And – if you’re a military veteran – be sure to let us know when ordering in-store or placing an order for delivery to immediately get your 25% discount on any products purchased.