Pubdate: Wed, 15 Sep 2010
Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)
Copyright: 2010 Dawn Palmer
Author: Dawn Palmer


This year the Department of Veteran Affairs has formally announced
that patients being treated at VA facilities will be allowed to use
medical marijuana if they live in one of the 14 states where it is

Under prior department rules, veterans treated in a VA hospital or
clinic could be denied pain medications if they were found to be using
marijuana. The new policy states that patients participating in state
medical marijuana programs must not be denied VA services or pain

The policy also states that doctors may still reduce or change a
patient's medication if there is a risk of interaction with the
marijuana, but the decision will be based on an individual patient's
case and not a blanket rule.

Research and patient testimonies have shown that the amount of
prescription pain medication such as Oxycontin and morphine can be
reduced when taken in conjunction with medical marijuana for reducing
chronic pain. Reducing the amount of highly addictive prescription
pain medications with a less harmful and less addictive substance such
as marijuana can lead to a better quality of life.

Shouldn't the veterans of Alabama be just as worthy of a better
quality of life as the veterans of California or any of the other 13
states where medical marijuana is legal?

Please support our veterans by contacting your legislators and ask
them to vote for the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Bill in the
coming legislative session.

Dawn Palmer

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