Your VA Benefits and being a MMJ Patient

By now you have probably heard of the health benefits of medical marijuana. Modern research has proven that cannabis helps with the treatment of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and PTSD, as well as a number of other symptoms and conditions. You may already be a MMJ patient and just have questions about the legal atmosphere in your state and how being a medical marijuana patient affects your VA benefits.

ACCORDING TO FEDERAL LAW, MARIJUANA CANNOT BE PRESCRIBED BY ANYONE. THE USE OF MARIJUANA FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES IS STRICTLY REFERRED TO AS SELF-MEDICATING. A PHYSICIAN MAY LEGALLY RECOMMEND YOU USE MARIJUANA BUT CANNOT PRESCRIBE.

As legality varies state to state, please be sure to check your state’s laws on THC and medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is available in Florida, however, remains illegal under federal law.

Legality for Veterans & family members in Florida

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published on their website the following list of things that the veteran community should know about the VA’s legal position as it pertains to medical marijuana for veterans:

  • Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
  • Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
  • VA clinicians may not prescribe products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), or any other cannabinoids.
  • VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana.
  • VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.
  • See the full list here.

In Florida, as the law currently stands, one may not grow or cultivate their own plants and must instead receive a physicians recommendation in order to be placed on the registry and receive a medical card. This recommendation and card allows you to legally purchase medical marijuana from state licensed dispensaries. You must be able to show proof of purchase and your medical card if asked by a law enforcement officer.

If caught with marijuana and you do not have an MMC or you cannot provide proof of purchase from a state licensed dispensary in Florida you can be charged with possession. If caught holding 20 grams or less it can be considered a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. In Florida those who are registered and have an MMJ Card are prohibited from owning a firearm.

Graphic by Marijuana.com

Laws in Other States

States with Legal Recreational Use:

  • Alaska– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • California– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and/or up to eight grams of concentrates as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. (Medical patients are not subject to these limits.) Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Colorado– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Maine– Adults may legally possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana as well as six mature plants or twelve immature plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Massachusetts– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and/or up to five grams of concentrates as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Nevada– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and/or up to three and a half grams of concentrates as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Oregon– Adults may legally possess up to eight ounces of marijuana as well as four plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.
  • Vermont– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed.
  • Washington– Adults may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana. The public consumption of marijuana is subject to a civil violation and fine.
  • C.– Adults may legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana as well as six plants for personal consumption that are untaxed. Commercial consumption is subject to licensing and taxes.

States with legalized medical marijuana laws

As states have varying laws regarding marijuana use, please check with your state specifically regarding laws.

The states that have passed Medical Marijuana laws are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan, Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon, Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

States with local decriminalization

There are over fifty different localities in twelve different states that have decriminalized the use of marijuana. Decriminalization does not mean that the recreational use of marijuana is legal. The states that have decriminalized marijuana may impose fines, citations, among various other penalties. States have decriminalized marijuana are:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

As different states have different laws regarding marijuana use please check with your state specifically regarding laws.

As part of the veteran’s community, we here at the U.S. & Latin Veteran Support Embassy can and look forward to answering any questions you may have about medical marijuana for veterans. We can work with you to possibly provide financial assistance to veterans and their family members.

In the upcoming months as we continue to work closely with the veteran’s community, please keep a look out on our social media for giveaways and the announcement of our own line of CBD products.

 

 

 

 

 

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