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V.A. Relaxes Medical Marijuana Rules

The Department of Veterans Affairs is mellowing its policy regarding medical marijuana in states where it’s legal, allowing patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use it. This relaxed rule resolves a long-standing conflict in veterans’ facilities between federal laws and the 14 states that have legalized medicinal use of the drug. Under V.A. department rules, if a veteran is caught using illegal drugs, they can be denied pain medications—which, until now, did not include an exception for marijuana. Now that's changed. “By creating a directive on medical marijuana, the V.A. ensures that throughout its vast hospital network, it will be well understood that legal medical marijuana use will not be the basis for the denial of services,” Michael Krawitz, executive director of Veterans for Medical Marijuana Access, told The New York Times. This is great news, no doubt, for the many medical-marijuana-using veterans who had previously abandoned the V.A. hospital system for that reason.