Changes in Texas medical marijuana law unlikely to affect VA beneficiaries

News

(Credit KTXL)

SAN ANGELO, Texas — September 1st saw several new laws go into effect across the state of Texas. One of those laws enacted changes to medical marijuana use for Texas residents. Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1535 or the Compassionate Use Act in June.

Changes to the new law include:

  • An increase in the amount of Low-THC allowed from 0.5 to 1%
  • Expanded access to patients with PTSD or any form of cancer
  • Establishes Institution Review Boards to research effectiveness of low-THC use

The VA Clinic in San Angelo does not expect any changes for VA patients despite the new change in the law.

“Currently, federal law prohibits VA physicians from prescribing medical marijuana and from completing forms or paperwork to enable patients to enroll in state medical marijuana programs,” said representatives from the Department of Veteran Affairs. “Federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. Federal employees must comply with Federal law, despite state law legalizing marijuana.”

They did clarify that veterans who do begin to participate in medical marijuana programs will still be eligible to receive VA services.

“VA is aware that some Veterans who reside in states with medical marijuana programs and who receive care in VA, do indeed participate in state medical marijuana programs,” said the VA. “While VA physicians are prohibited from prescribing medical marijuana and from completing forms/paperwork to enable patients to enroll in state medical marijuana programs, Veterans are not denied VHA services solely because they are participating in state-approved marijuana programs and VA physicians may discuss medical marijuana use with their patients as part of furnishing VA health care.”

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