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VA Says Docs Can't Prescribe Medical Marijuana

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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors are forbidden from recommending medical marijuana for patients even in states that allow medical use of the drug, NPR reported May 19.

Some evidence suggests that marijuana can relieve the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental-health disorder that has become increasingly commonplace among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But veterans who want to use the drug medically must go outside the VA system in order to get certified as medical users.

“Based on guidance issued by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice, VA General Counsel has advised that completion of a state medical marijuana form is in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and subject to its enforcement provisions,” according to a statement from the VA. “Therefore VA physicians and practitioners may not participate in state medical marijuana programs. VA has addressed issues/questions regarding medical marijuana separately as they have arisen but is in the process of developing national policy.”

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