DENVER, July 24 (UPI) — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will permit use of medical marijuana at its hospitals and clinics in states where it is legal, an official said.
The department is expected to issue a directive next week clarifying policy on medical pot, The New York Times reported Friday. The policy will not authorize doctors to prescribe medical marijuana but it is expected to provide some protection for military veterans against losing access to pain medication for using pot, the newspaper said.
Dr. Robert Jesse, the principal Veterans Department deputy under secretary for health, told the Times the department is “beholden to federal law” even though some states have legalized pot.
“We didn’t want patients who were legally using marijuana to be administratively denied access to pain management programs,” he said.
Fourteen states permit medical use of marijuana but it remains illegal under federal law.
The policy will permit doctors to modify treatment plans for veterans who use marijuana and will not be required to prescribe pain medicine if drug interaction is a potential problem, the newspaper said.
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