Even as more than half of American states have established their own legal marijuana markets for either medical marijuana patients or both patients and recreational consumers, veterans still struggle for access to cannabis. Learn more about why our Nevada dispensary is advocating for Veteran access to cannabis.
Although regulated cannabis markets exist in America, cannabis itself is prohibited by the federal government. This means that for both veterans and the office responsible for providing them support (The Office of Veterans’ Affairs), their options are particularly limited when it comes providing veterans access to cannabis that is safe, legal, and affordable.
Every day, almost two dozen veterans complete suicide as a result of inadequate access to the resources they need to cope with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, and more. Although cannabis has shown incredible promise in easing the symptoms of these conditions, significant barriers remain when it comes to ensuring veterans access to cannabis.
One of the largest barriers is the Veterans Affairs administration, which has previously asserted that “marijuana use for medical conditions is an issue of growing concern” and, further, that “there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD.”
Despite the VA’s reticence in allowing cannabis to be considered as an effective therapy for veterans, especially those coping with injuries or psychological disorders, communities have rallied behind their veterans and their right to access ReLeaf through cannabis.
As awareness spread, veterans have has seen some movement on the issue of veterans access to cannabis; although this was not always the case, official VA policy mandates that Veterans participating in state-approved medical marijuana programs will not be denied access to healthcare. Despite this, veterans cannot possess or consume cannabis on VA grounds and VA doctors cannot help veterans complete their medical marijuana paperwork.
Because cannabis is federally scheduled, the VA will not pay for medical marijuana for veterans. Further, those who choose to discuss cannabis use with their VA providers run the risk of losing access certain aspects of their prescribed treatment plan.
Despite the risks associated with consuming cannabis, for many veterans, marijuana is the only therapeutic remedy that provides ReLeaf from physical and psychological issues associated with service to one’s country during wartime.
Cannabis is also safer than many of the antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, sleep aides and opiates often prescribed to treat veterans with PTSD and chronic pain.
Last July, veterans and the communities who’ve rallied behind them, were dealt a harsh blow when the Veterans Equal Access Amendment 2017 was blocked by committee vote in Congress. Since then, veterans advocacy groups, like Grow 4 Vets, and communities have rallied behind their veterans to push for change in DC by holding events of every scale, from local community events to national demonstrations in favor of pro-cannabis and pro-veteran legislation.
Currently, there are two bills proposed to Congress designed to protect states rights to legalize cannabis, The Marijuana Justice Act and the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act.
As a recreational and medical Nevada marijuana dispensary with strong local roots, Las Vegas ReLeaf works hard to provide our veterans access to both medical and recreational cannabis that can provide the high-quality ReLeaf they need.