Veterans struggling to access medical marijuana

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Thousands of veterans interested in marijuana for pain management face fear and uncertainty trying to access the substance for medical reasons even as a growing number of Americans face expanding access.

Already, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and DC have gone one step further legalizing recreational cannabis.

Medical marijuana has been legal in the tri-state area for years, but because it remains illegal at the federal level and because the Department of Veterans Affairs follows federal policy, the VA considers all forms of marijuana an illegal drug, meaning veterans can’t get help accessing medical marijuana from their VA doctors.

During a recent Congressional hearing exploring bills that would allow for expanded access to medical marijuana for veterans, representatives for the VA indicated they would continue to oppose such policies as long as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

Eyewitness News began looking at the issue after hearing from multiple veterans that they were uncertain whether they would be penalized or denied treatment and ongoing prescriptions provided by the VA if they tried medical marijuana.

Danielle Leigh has more:


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