Moving to Mellow: How the New Medical Marijuana Policy at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Fits into the Growing Effort to Legalize Pot in America
42 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 9, 2012
In July, 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs changed its stance on medical marijuana. The agency announced it would allow certain patients to use medical marijuana as long as they are enrolled in a state-approved program. Although pot remains illegal under federal law, the new guidelines allow physicians at hospitals and clinics run by the federal government to incorporate medical marijuana into veterans’ pain-treatment plans, abandoning a previous policy under which hospital staff refused to consider the use of marijuana by patients.
This Note explores the impact of the V.A’s new medical marijuana policy on veterans, and its role in the broader drug reform movement in America. It discusses the history of medical marijuana, and the uneasy relationship between marijuana and the military. It analyzes the impact of the V.A.’s new policy on veterans, and on the broader movement to legalize marijuana¬. Finally, it argues for a change in federal marijuana policy, and discusses the dangers of allowing the status quo to continue.
Keywords: Health, Veterans, Medical Marijuana, Drug Policy
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