“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is how many veterans have approached health care conversations about marijuana use with the doctors they see from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Worried that owning up to using the drug could jeopardize their VA benefits—even if they’re participating in a medical marijuana program approved by their state—veterans have often kept mum. That may be changing under a new directive from the Veterans Health Administration urging vets and their physicians to open up on the subject.
The new guidance (PDF) directs VA clinical staff and pharmacists to discuss with veterans how their use of medical marijuana could interact with other medications or aspects of their care, including treatment for pain management or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The directive leaves in place a key prohibition: VA providers are still not permitted to refer veterans to state-approved medical marijuana programs, since the drug is illegal under federal law, with no