SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Even though New York has legalized medical marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs won’t help them get the drug.
That’s because the department, which operates the nation’s VA hospitals, follows federal law which still classifies marijuana as an illegal controlled substance.
VA health care providers are not allowed to recommend medical marijuana or help veterans obtain it.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo Saturday signed a bill allowing people with PTSD to obtain medical marijuana with a doctor’s authorization.
The bill, which goes into effect immediately, adds PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions patients must have to access medical marijuana. New York is the 28th state to allow PTSD patients to get medical marijuana.
But the state law won’t help veterans who depend on VA medical care.
The use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds.
VA clinicians may not complete paperwork required for veterans to participate in state-approved marijuana programs.
VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana nor will the VA pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.