Arkansas veterans will not be able to go through the VA hospital for medical marijuana certifications. (KATV Photos)
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
Arkansas veterans will not be able to go through the VA hospital for medical marijuana certifications.
Even though medical marijuana is now legal in the state of Arkansas, under federal law, it’s still an illegal substance.
Any medical doctor in the state of Arkansas can now certify patients to get a medical marijuana card, but VA doctors are prohibited from certifying patients to use medical marijuana because they are federal employees.
Veterans wanting to be certified for medical marijuana will have to make an appointment with a doctor outside of the VA. The VA will not cover any medical marijuana costs for veterans.
Veterans who do participate in the state’s medical marijuana program will not be denied access to VA healthcare and are encouraged to tell their doctors if they’re taking it.
Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System Chief of Staff Dr. Tina McClain told Channel 7 veterans should be advised that their medicines or regimen could be changed if a doctor finds it necessary.
“So, for example, if we have veterans that are receiving pain medications here and they opt to enroll in the state’s medical marijuana program, that may alter the treatment plan some here,” McClain said.
McClain says once veterans do have legal medical marijuana, even though they will be allowed to carry it, they should not bring it onto the VA’s property.
“This is a federal agency and this is still considered an illegal substance from a federal standpoint. I would strongly advise that not be brought onto campus. We typically do not ask veterans if they’ve brought medications