An Update on Veteran Access to Cannabis (at Theory and Beyond)

Veteran Access to Cannabis

We’re increasing our offerings for veterans who use medical cannabis.

In addition to the 10 percent off we offer all veterans on the medical side, we’re now offering 40 percent off for veterans with 100% Service Connected Injury. You can learn more about eligibility from our friends at the Veterans Alternative Healing Program here.

As cannabis becomes more ingrained in the social fabric, we think it’s important to continue pushing for education around veterans’ access to this medicine. In Massachusetts, veterans are three times more likely to die from an opioid overdose than the rest of the population [1]. Moreover, a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that “...[in states with legal cannabis] there was about a 25 percent lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths after the implementation of medical marijuana law” [2]. For these reasons, we believe access to cannabis can help veterans.

Many veterans and veteran-advocates tend to agree. While the VA says that, “The belief that marijuana can be used to treat PTSD is limited to anecdotal reports from individuals with PTSD who say that the drug helps with their symptoms” [3], Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America research director Stephanie Mullen has expressed support for cannabis research and veteran access. "It's past time for the VA to catch up," Mullen said in the hearing on three VA medical marijuana-related bills under consideration by Congress, "Veterans are suffering from their injuries today" [4].

Veteran Access to Cannabis

The VA has unfortunately come out against the proposed bills due to the current federal ban. According to chief consultant for population health at the VA, “[The House Veterans Affairs Committee] can make strong proposals for us to move forward with recommendations of filling out forms and such but, in the end, we need to go back to the [Drug Enforcement Agency] and [Justice Department] for their opinion"[5]. While there is opposition from the VA for cannabis legislation, as they are part of the federal government, there is congressional support. 

NOW, ONTO THE BILLS.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY THREE BILLS MOVING THROUGH CONGRESS:

The Marijuana Safe Harbor Act

Allows veterans to use, possess, or transport medical marijuana and to discuss the use of medical marijuana with a physician of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Click Here to Read the Bill

Veteran Equal Access Act

This would allow VA physicians to issue medical cannabis recommendations for veterans.

Click Here to Read the Bill

VA Medicinal Research Act

This would require the VA to begin a clinical research study on the efficacy of medical cannabis.

Click Here to Read the Bill

These bills were discussed during a congressional hearing a week ago (4/30) with mounting opposition from the executive branch. Regardless of where you stand, we’re standing with the veterans. We hope that our new discount program will help a few more veterans who are in need. While offering an additional discount isn’t a massive game charger to access, it’s a small step in a direction we believe in.

To learn more about our veteran discounts, speak with one of our medical budtenders or please visit here

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