GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Last week the Michigan medical marijuana review board added post traumatic stress syndrome to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. This means PTSD sufferers have another treatment option, but with marijuana still illegal on the federal level, this poses a unique challenge for Michigan veterans with VA benefits who want to try medical marijuana.
An estimated 1 in 5 veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from some kind of post traumatic stress syndrome according to Carrie Roy, the director of the Kent County Veteran Affairs. Her office deals with hundreds of veterans and she says not to expect a VA doctor to prescribe medical marijuana. "VA doctors are not going to start prescribing medical marijuana because it is still federally against the law," explains Roy.
The best thing to do is to talk to your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including medical marijuana.This means a veteran wishing for the alternative treatment will need to go to a private doctor. The worry for some is that this may put their VA benefits in danger.
"If they are under a treatment of a VA doctor, they need to follow the treatment of that doctors orders because that could potentially mess with their other treatment regiment," explains Roy. "If it is improving their symptoms and improving their quality of life, they need to do what is best for them and what their doctor recommends."
If you have any questions or concerns be sure to talk your doctor and you can call the Kent County Veterans Affairs at (616) 632-5722.