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New Law Allows VA Doctors to Discuss Medical Marijuana with Veterans

USA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has officially cleared its doctors to speak openly with veterans about marijuana use, according to the new VHA Directive 1315.

The VA’s doctors are still barred from recommending or prescribing medical marijuana, but now, they can at least freely discuss it as a treatment option with their patients, Forbes reports.

“Clinical staff may discuss with Veterans relevant clinical information regarding marijuana and when this is discussed it must be documented in the Veteran’s medical record” and “providers need to make decisions to modify treatment plans based on marijuana use on a case-by-case basis, such decisions need to be made in partnership with the Veteran and must be based on concerns regarding Veteran health and safety,” stated the VA.

The new law also says, “Veterans must not be denied VHA services solely because they are participating in State-approved marijuana programs.”

If a veteran is enrolled in a state-approved medical marijuana program, he/she is now allowed to discuss their marijuana use with their VA doctor or care team. Furthermore, VA doctors are now directed to inquire about their patients’ use of marijuana so that they can make any necessary adjustments to treatment plans on a case-by-case basis.