VA Directive 1315

Although we are happy the government is allowing doctors 1st Amendment rights to speak with patients, it seems a bit like false magnanimity. They shouldn’t been infringed in the first place.

Doctors should be allowed to speak with patients about any and every therapy known to humankind. Unfortunately doctors in America are a bit more like high priests of the state instead of physicians, and they are forced to do a lot of things that are not in their patient’s best interests. One of those things is diagnosing them with a substance abuse disorder for using a medicine that works for them. The VA can classify a veteran as such, and there are consequences. Medical options are limited, withdrawal of other therapies (pain management) is likely. Many veterans have to give up opioids altogether, cold-turkey, just to have the ability to use cannabis. Most other drugs with any addictive potential are revoked and patients who still require them are routinely harassed and pressured to give them up, even if they are necessary for the control of their condition. Whether benzodiazepines or stimulants, patients requiring either one are treated badly by the system.

Sometimes veterans are even classified as financially incompetent. This is an atrocity against men and women who have literally pledged their lives and their health to the government of the United States, and they are being sold out by the very institution they gave up their health for.

When can they actually recommend cannabis? It’s what veterans really need. No federal law blocks the VA from allowing its doctors to fill out medical cannabis recommendation forms in states where it is legal. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a federal ruling finding that doctors have a First Amendment right to recommend medical cannabis to patients, as long as they don’t actually provide marijuana.

Read the full new V.A. policy below:

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