Veterans and Their Access to Medical Cannabis

by Brittiany Ralls

Veteran’s have served and deserve to get the medical care they feel is sufficient for their needs. For quite a few this also includes holistic approaches. In an effort to limit the intake of pharmaceutical prescriptions given to them by their doctors, many veteran’s have gone the more natural route. Leaving many having to discuss with their VA doctors their use of cannabis. As with any doctor it is best to inform them of any medications, including cannabis, that one might be using. In the past this may have been something a lot of veteran’s didn’t do in fear of losing the help they were getting.

The good thing is you shouldn’t worry anymore.


Since 2017 the VA has made efforts into changing the atmosphere around cannabis. Having changed certain rules allowing veteran’s the ability to discuss with their VA doctor’s more openly their medical marijuana use. Veteran’s are able to discuss their cannabis use per their in-state approved programs with their doctor’s so all medical planning needs can be met. With that being said, the VA cannot recommend cannabis to you, they cannot give any assistance in getting your medical marijuana card and they will not be able to give you any information regarding how to attain a medical marijuana card.


They also cannot discriminate against you for participating in any state approved marijuana program. While on VA property you are to abide by federal laws. Meaning, even if your state has an approved marijuana program you are still not allowed to bring any marijuana substance on the property of the VA. If you feel the need to discuss specifics about your cannabis products with your VA doctor do so using copied information.


The costs associated with getting your medical marijauna card in most states can be steep.

Plus the costs of your medicine even after getting your medical marijuana license. Before you know it the medicine you desperately need is burning a hole in your bank account. Rest assured, the cannabis community has got your back. Within most states that have an approved medical marijuana program there are also programs that assist our Veteran’s in getting their cards for free or at discounted rates. Searching on your states website for any assistance they may offer or scouring the web for non-profit organizations that have been created to help is where you should start.


Once obtaining your medical marijuanna card you are able to shop in dispensaries in your state. Quite a few dispensaries have discounts they offer to veteran’s for their service. Depending on the store policy you may have to bring documentation to prove your service. Typically if you have shown it once you won’t have to again. Some dispensaries have even partnered with cultivations and processors to assist veterans in getting their medicine for free. This has been a huge effort from the cannabis community since so many veterans work in the industry. So even though you can’t get help from the VA with your medical cannabis needs, you should know that you have a lot more allies to seek in the cannabis community.

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