medical card for veterans
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Marijuana use is legal in a number of American states for either medical or recreational purposes. But are veterans eligible for a medical marijuana card? 

Veterans should be aware that marijuana is listed as a Schedule One Controlled Substance under federal law. In the view of the federal government, marijuana is illegal.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is obligated to abide by all federal laws, including marijuana-related legislation. 

VA healthcare providers are not permitted to suggest marijuana to veterans or help them obtain it as long as the Food and Drug Administration still lists it as a Schedule I drug.

Veterans’ eligibility for VA care and services is unaffected by their participation in state marijuana programs. As part of comprehensive care planning, VA clinicians can talk to veterans about their marijuana usage and modify treatment schedules as required.

Veterans should keep this thing in mind regarding marijuana and VA:

  • Veterans won’t lose out on VA benefits because of marijuana.
  • Veterans are encouraged to talk with their VA clinicians about using marijuana.
  • VA medical professionals may not recommend medical marijuana.
  • VA medical professionals are prohibited from completing the documentation and forms needed for Veteran patients to take part in state-approved marijuana programs.
  • VA pharmacies are not permitted to fill medical marijuana prescriptions.

Why Do Some Veterans Choose to Obtain a Medical Cannabis Card?

Veterans may experience symptoms from wounds they received while serving.  Some of those symptoms are persistent and have a negative impact on the patients’ quality of life.

There are prescription drugs for every illness, from chronic pain to mental health issues. 

But how to treat symptoms that won’t go away over time is one of the issues with chronic illnesses or other health disorders.  Additionally, there are potential adverse effects and long-term health hazards associated with several types of medications, such as NSAIDs and opioids. 

Medical marijuana has assisted some Veterans who were unable to find treatment through other means. 

Additionally, it can aid in restoring a Veteran’s quality of life if they suffer from a chronic illness, a disability, anxiety, depression, or unbearable (chronic) pain. 

The Kif provides a platform for veterans to openly discuss marijuana use with VA professionals, ensuring optimal health management. Select your state from the given and consult with our doctors.

For What Medical Conditions Do Veterans Commonly Use Medical Cannabis?

Due to the physical and psychological effects of military service, many Veterans have several qualifying health conditions.  However, there are some common conditions and diagnoses among veterans that potentially benefit from medical marijuana. 

Chronic Pain

Veterans who have served their country often experience chronic pain. More than 50% of Veterans are receiving treatment for the effects of chronic pain. 

What brings on chronic pain? Although it may be related to an injury, some people may also have chronic pain that has no apparent explanation. For example, neurological pain can be diagnosed by medical professionals, but its root cause cannot always be determined. 

The Veterans Action League (VAL) 2.0 gathers research suggestions for enhancing chronic pain management and treatment services for American veterans. There are VAL locations in Georgia, Illinois, Florida, and Virginia. 

In 2021, access to medical marijuana as a therapy alternative (that wouldn’t interfere with VA health care) was advanced. 

The act is referred to as “The Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act. Cannabis has anti analgesic properties which can help Veterans to deal with chronic pain. 


Veterans had a higher-than-average risk of sleeplessness in addition to several clinical problems such as chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and PTSD. Additionally, the prevalence of insomnia is considerably higher in Veterans.

Cannabis can help Veterans fall asleep faster and increase the amount of time to stay in deep sleep.

Anxiety, Depression and Adjustment Disorders

Anxiety, adjustment disorder, and depression are now recognised by Veterans Affairs (VA) as clinical diagnoses that are service-related.  or modifications in mental health brought on by events experienced while serving in the military. 

Additionally, there are therapeutic options accessible for veterans with severe mental health issues. But they are not that effective and have some negative side-effects. In that case, Veterans can try cannabis to treat their anxiety related problems.

Discussing Marijuana Use with VA Providers

Open communication is essential when addressing marijuana use with VA professionals. Veterans are urged to discuss their marijuana use with their medical professionals in an open and sincere manner.

Veteran Discussing Marijuana Use with VA Providers

It’s crucial to emphasize that VA doctors cannot prescribe or promote marijuana for medical reasons owing to federal laws, but talking about its use can still be good for managing your health.

Veterans should feel comfortable discussing their marijuana usage, including frequency, dose, and motivations. This information enables VA professionals to fully comprehend the veteran’s health and can affect the overall treatment strategy. 

Documentation and Confidentiality

When veterans disclose their marijuana use with VA clinicians, it’s important to understand all aspects of documentation and confidentiality.

Veterans should be informed that any details about their marijuana use will be recorded in their medical records. This documentation is a necessary step in the medical procedure and aids in the knowledge of a veteran’s health across its entire range by healthcare professionals. 

VA Providers and State-Approved Marijuana Programs

Veterans cannot receive assistance from VA providers with the documentation or forms which are necessary to take part in state-approved marijuana programs.

This is because marijuana is still considered as a Schedule I controlled substance. VA providers are therefore constrained by these federal laws and are unable to actively assist veterans in enrolling in state-approved programs.

Veterans must understand the reason behind this policy. Despite the fact that medical marijuana has been legalized in several states, the federal government’s position may complicate the healthcare system. 

Veterans should be proactive in navigating the application process on their own if they want to take part in state-approved marijuana programs. They can reach out to state-specific resources and medical specialists outside the VA system.

VA Pharmacies and Medical Marijuana

VA pharmacies are not permitted to fill medical marijuana prescriptions. This is because the VA has to follow the federal law which considers marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. 

According to federal law, the VA does not pay for veterans’ medical marijuana expenses. Veterans who use medical marijuana will need to find alternative sources of supply; the VA will not cover these costs.

VA Employees and Drug Testing

Like workers in other places, VA employees are subject to drug testing as part of their employment contract.

These drug tests are frequently carried out to guarantee workplace security, adherence to laws, and the reliability of federal services and programs. Employees at the VA should be familiar with the unique workplace policies that apply to drug testing.

Veterans who use marijuana for medical reasons can get in trouble. Even in areas where it is legal, testing positive for marijuana might result in employment-related repercussions. 

VA Benefits and Marijuana Use

One crucial aspect to understand is that veterans will not be denied VA benefits solely because of their use of marijuana, whether it’s for medical or recreational purposes.

VA benefits are typically based on factors such as a veteran’s service-connected disabilities, income, and other eligibility criteria. Marijuana use does not factor into these determinations.

The VA abides by federal laws despite the several state laws that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. This indicates that, while veterans may use marijuana in line with the rules of their state, the VA benefits system is distinct and unaffected by these state laws.


Veterans who use marijuana won’t have their benefits affected by state marijuana laws since the VA benefits system is independent of them.

To ensure comprehensive healthcare and adherence to legal standards, it is crucial to keep lines of communication open with VA healthcare providers and to understand both federal and state rules.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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