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VA Can’t Prescribe Medical Pot – Looking for a Solution But Narcotics, Anti Psychotics are No Problem

Posted Apr 01 2010 12:00am

I never really thought much about this but it seems true that the VA is in the middle of all of this until federal laws and state laws reach a happy medium along the image line here.  The culture on pot has certainly changed a lot over the years and somehow I think some of the stronger and powerful anti-psychotics drugs we have around today may have had some influence there in making pot look much less evil.  

If everyone could agree here it could be e-prescribed and traced just like all other drugs and carry the DEA information forward as well.  BD 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- When Paul Culkin came home to New Mexico after serving with an Army bomb squad in Iraq, he tried counseling and medications offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to cope with his post traumatic stress disorder.

Nothing worked very well. Then he found a new alternative: marijuana.

New Mexico is the only state that explicitly allows people with PTSD to smoke pot under its medical marijuana law - an issue that is getting attention around the country at a time when traumatized vets are coming home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in large numbers.

"The irony in this ... is it's a common thing for veterans to tell me, 'The VA is telling me if I just stay away from medical marijuana, we'll give you all the pills you want, morphine, whatever,'" he said.

Krawitz, 47, was severely injured in a motorcycle accident while stationed in Guam with the Air Force about 20 years ago and eventually received a medical discharge.

He praises the care he's gotten from the VA, but adds: "I feel sorry for the VA; they're caught in the middle ... They have a clear mandate to take care of veterans."

Given their inability to get medical marijuana from the VA, New Mexico veterans are finding their own go-to physicians, including Dr. Eve Elting in the central part of the state.  "Everyone's happy to give them a million narcotics, anti-psychotics. It's frustrating," she said.

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