Pubdate: Tue, 21 Sep 2010
Source: Anniston Star (AL)
Copyright: 2010 Consolidated Publishing
Author: Dawn Palmer


This year, the Department of Veteran Affairs has 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 
legal. 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 VHA services or pain 
medications. 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 as 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?

If you think they do, please support our veterans by contacting your 
senators and representatives and ask them to vote yes for the Michael 
Phillips Compassionate Care Bill in the next legislative session.

Dawn Palmer

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