VA says Justice Department crackdown on marijuana won't hit veterans

Federal Times: WASHINGTON — Veterans who talk to their doctors about medical marijuana use won’t be hurt by the new Justice Department crackdown on the drug, according to officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

But advocates worry the mixed message currently coming from federal officials will further stigmatize use and research into cannabis, potentially shutting down a valuable medical option for ailing veterans.

“We continue to be stuck in this gray zone on policy,” said Nick Etten, founder of the Veterans Cannabis Project. “The reality is this leaves physicians at VA in a compromised position when talking about cannabis. And it’s why veterans in states where it’s legal often don’t get medical cards: fear of prosecution and fear of a loss of benefits.”

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