The head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) says that while current federal marijuana laws have prevented the department’s physicians from recommending medical cannabis to military veterans, officials are “looking at” the possibility of an internal policy change and have discussed it with the White House. VA Secretary Denis McDonough was asked a wide range of questions as part of a Veterans Day Q&A earlier this month. He also talked about being personally moved by stories from veterans who’ve found relief using medical marijuana. A Marine Corps veteran submitted a question about whether the department will ever provide medical marijuana access, saying there are many within his community who would benefit from cannabis over pharmaceuticals for the treatment of conditions like pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. McDonough responded by sharing an anecdote about being approached by a veteran who told him that he was only alive because of his service dog and cannabis. “And it was very profound,” McDonough said.But despite the volumes of personal stories of veterans who’ve benefited from marijuana—as well as the research showing that cannabis can be an effective treatment option for conditions that commonly afflict the community—the secretary said that VA “limited in what we can do related to cannabis and medical marijuana by the classification of marijuana as a particular narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.”

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 11/23/2021 12:23:00

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