There’s some good news for veterans in states with legal medical marijuana programs who rely on the sticky green herb and its various distillations for treatment: the Department of Veterans Affairs has officially cleared its physicians and care teams to speak openly with veteran patients about their marijuana consumption.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been credited with major medical advancements since its research office was created in 1925 — the cardiac pacemaker, shingles vaccine and the first successful liver transplant topping its list of accomplishments. Now, a group of lawmakers want VA researchers to turn their attention to medical marijuana.
Between November 2016 and May 2017, Jonathan Fruchter, a 37-year-old Navy veteran, was receiving care at a post-traumatic stress disorder inpatient clinic with the Lyons New Jersey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His days started with a check-in meeting every morning at 8 a.m., then a brief break before group therapy sessions at 9 and 10 a.m. and again at 1 and 2 p.m.
The Trump administration’s attack on legal marijuana, already stymied by large states determined not to roll back the clock, is increasingly confronting an even more politically potent adversary: military veterans.