Medical Marijuana: Veterans Administration Says Positive Marijuana Drug Screening Will Not Void Pain Contracts for Vets with Doctors' Recommendations

The Veterans Affairs watchdog group VA Watchdog reported last week that the VA will not remove veterans with medical marijuana recommendations who test positive for pot from its pain management programs. Just don't bring your medicine to a VA facility.

In recent years, vets who use marijuana medicinally have been thrown out of VA pain management programs as "drug abusers" after testing positive for marijuana. This policy shift will provide some solace, but only to those vets residing in states where medical marijuana is an option.

The VA has clarified its policy. While restating that it remains illegal to use or possess marijuana at VA facilities because of federal law, the agency will now accept medical marijuana use in states where it is legal:

"[I]t is acknowledged that testing positive for marijuana in a patient, based upon a random drug screening, will not serve as a breach of the current pain management agreement if the patient submits documentation in support of the marijuana being prescribed and dispensed in conformity with Michigan law," wrote Gabriel Perez, director of the Lutz Veterans Affairs Center in Saginaw, Michigan.

According to VA Watchdog, the policy appears to be the same in all states where medical marijuana is allowed under state law. But the VA has not released an official policy statement on the matter.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

This is very true

I just recently had this argument with my pain doctor at the VA. He told me that I had to pee in a cup that day and had to sign his pain agreement, They no longer say contract. I had informed them that I had to have my Lawyer take a look at the agreement. I was told to sign or I would not be helped! So I raised the question what if I have a positive test for THC and I am a medical Marijuana patient, they told me to piss in the cup and we will discuss. So I handed them a copy of the VA watchdog report from Michigan. That settled that issue, however they still violated my 4th,5th, and 10 amendment and waited for them to acknowledge in what I said. So because in my opinion the doctor didn't like being proved wrong, I now have to go see there addiction counselor before they will prescribe pain medication. From Start to finish it will be two to three months before they will write a script for me. That is along as the addiction person doesn't tell me I have to goto rehab. I am a 100% service connected vet, getting treated like I am a second class citizen. Don't let the VA push you around, file a complaint with patient advocacy, call you congressman or woman and let them know, and most of all let all the Vets know to do this.

Thanks
Dennis

Veterans Administration and Medical Marijuana

We hear you load and clear Dennis. The same crap is happening here in Maine at the Togus VAMC. My husband is also 100% disabled veteran and has been denied his medications due to positive urine screen for marijuana.

We are fighting this and am at the point of contacting our congressman and senators as well as VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

My husband has been treated so badly since his positive urine screen and now is spoken down to, verbally attacted and harassed, discriminated by other doctors per PCP order, etc. Hell is the best way to describe it. Would not believe it if this wasn't actually happening to my husband. Never in fifteen plus years at Togus has he ever had any problems with medical care given.

Very unjust way for our government to thank our veterans for serving their country. My husband is now treated like a criminal without having been convicted of a crime. He no longer receives the same measure of health care he received prior to positive urine drug screen. He is now blacklisted and labled a "marijuana abuser" in his VA medical record.

THIS IS ALL POLITICAL AND POLITICS THAT DOES NOT BELONG WITHIN THE VA SYSTEM FOR IT HURTS DISABLED VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Good luck and DO challenge "VA Policy" if you are using marijuana in compliance with your state laws!

Need to talk to someone via e-mail about this, please feel free to contact me at linneken519@hotmail.com and/or see www.VMMA.com I found that site helpful and Mike cares too.

You are not alone in this!

legal marijuana

I believe the main problem with the VA, is the fact that they have so many doctors who are of foreign descent, and are afraid to lose there jobs with the va, if they do not tow the line. I was assigned a new doctor, and before he ever even met me, he had me urine tested. It looks like I will have too move to California, too keep up my health.

this is very true

I have brought my senator into this and I hope he does not fold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The VA hospitals and Medical marijuana patients treated poorly

I have been through as much as I think I can stand. I have all the documents Dr. Peztel put out. 

It all depends on who you have as a doctor. The ones that have to be right all the time, we will loose.

Other VA doctors and more intelligent. 

 

I live in Tucson Az, what senator are you writing? I will write him too.

I just received the 4th letter from the VA saying last decision is made by the doctor. I told them it had to be based on a clinical reason not a political reason.

My primary doctor said  because morphine will slow down your breathing and used in conjunction with marijuana I could have breathing problems.

I wrote him back and told him there has never been a death associated to marijuana.

My next set of letters are going all over the U.S. and to the local news. Would love to send more to elected officials.

If you would like to see my papers I'm sending out as a complaint, let me know.

George B.

Your letters

George,

If you could, I'd like to see some of the letters you are sending out.  I'd like to send some out to the elected officials down here in the Louisiana area.

Id Love to see any Information Regarding VA

     Im 100 % Service connected in Fl an   VA Care .. lol

 

  Rick

I'm 80% service connected. My

I'm 80% service connected. My Doctors all are denies my pain meds and also not giving me pain meds I need. I'm stuck here in pain everyday. I have never been so upset with the treatment of Veterans in my life!!!!! I don't know what to do with my self. I don't think I or any Service Connected Vet should have to go through.

VA, Medical Marijuana, & Suffering Veterans-It's Time For Change

The marijuana myths have been dispelled. The evil characterization of how marijuana smokers morph into some deprived dope fiend with eyes glazed over, pupils dilated, drooling at the mouth like a wild dog is our federal governments efforts to govern by fear.

Yes, marijuana has been classified by the Department of Health & Human Services as a Schedule 1 narcotic along with heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine etc. even though marijuana was once one of America's major crops. Marijuana has many uses both medicinal and utility.  Marijuana does many wonderful things to help improve one's quality of life.

I for one am sick of abiding by a false/incorrect classification of marijuana to the American people and the embarrassing hypocrisy of legalized tobacco, alcohol and so many other harmful consumables that are highly addictive, poisonous, and have killed and disabled millions of people around the world yet these substances remain legal and can be purchased just about anywhere if you are over 21.

Disabled American Veterans including myself, across America are suffering every day with PTSD and living in chronic pain from the battle wounds suffered while this veteran was putting his/her life on the line.  Now that same Veteran has to fear of losing their medical treatment (prescription pain medications) from their local VA hospital/clinic if they test positive for marijuana. Medications they have used for years and will require for the rest of their lives yet VA thinks it has the right to punish a veteran for using marijuana to treat their disabilities whether they reside in a state that has legalized medical marijuana or not.

This is a Federal law holding everything back and unless and until the HHS is ordered to amend its current classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic which we all know to be completely false along with a lot of other fear mongering tactics the military and our federal government tries to employ to scare people away from marijuana.  It is pure discrimination for the VA to allow some veterans who live in states where medical marijuana has been allowed to continue to receive their medications where other veterans are punished by the same government they went to war to protect and defend, for medicating themselves with cannabis.

It is time for the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes.  Stop discriminating against disabled veterans now!  Wake up America!!!! It is time to delete marijuana's current classification as a narcotic that harms people to a medicine and recreational stimulant that actually helps people in many different and positive ways.

A Disabled Vietnam Veteran who didn't pay the full measure but still paid a measure that will disabled him for the rest of his life. He should have the right and freedom to use any marijuana to treat any PTSD or other disability as prescribed and/or recommend by a physician, something that will never happen until this classification is changed and Obama has the legislative power to change this by Executive Order if he wanted to.

Legalize marijuana now, help Vets help themselves without living in fear of losing his medications as punishment for using marijuana.

US Marine Corps 

Dennis Maggio

Raise a stink Dennis.  Write or call your congressman, Senate.  Ask to speak to the administrator and notify him/her of what happened.  Do not lay down and let them do you that way.  Stand up for your rights cause no one will do that for you!

Helping veterans access medicine

It saddens me that so many hero's that have suffered from our military conflicts cannot have access to a pain medicine that works without the effects of addiction.
My company Montana Pain Management located in Missoula, Mt. strives to serve the veterans community.
We have a former OIF3 veteran who works with any Montana veteran who wish's to use medical cannabis therapy to treat their pain issues. We have called Sen. John Testers office to ask for assistance in helping those military vets access a physician as well as a full line of cannabis therapy.
Please if there is anything we can do to help with this cause please feel free to contact us at:info@montanapm.com
With deepest respect
Rick Rosio
President
Montana Pain Management Inc.
2311 3rd Street
Missoula, Mt. 59802

Medical Marijuana Prescription from VA?

Will VA physicians write a prescription for medical marijuana?

Marijuana and the VA

I am a disabled veteran with 40% disability, and I have cronic pain from a parachute malfunction that I had in the 82nd Airborne Division, I injured my back and knees. I recently went to see my doctor the the VA Hospital in Battle Creek, MI and the first thing my doctor said was I using marijuana and she said she could order a lab test to check. The reality I did use it, my pain goes away, I'm taking so many pills that I was diagnosed with GERD the pills screwed my stomache up bad. So, I cannot get a prescription for medicinal marijuana because I don't have private insurance, the VA will only give me pills and tell me to have a nice day. I'm mad, my state legalized medicinal marijuana but the VA is still dealing with politics. Stop screwing us vets, I'm only 33, I'm not a hippy or an adict (I don't even smoke cigarrettes) and it seems that my service to my country is not valued because they will not help me deal with my pain without chemicals. I was anti-drug until I was in so much pain that I asked a friend to try it, it works to stops or diminishes the pain.

MEDICAL cannibis therapy prescription

I am a veteran I have been service connected since 1992 20% now but i have have non service conneted treatment for a long time for depression and insomnia thats why i'm asking about this kind of therapy Thanks.

The VA will not prescribe or

The VA will not prescribe or suggest the use of cannaboids for pain management. They will not prescribe Marinol, or Sativex for chronic pain management either. Myself, the VA thought it would be better to prescribe 90, 20mg oxycontin along with 75mcg Fentanyl patches instead. After about 1 year of treatment I found myself with a terrible addiction that I now still battle. My realization is you must choose one, if traditional pain management is failing marijuana may help you. I suggest purchasing a Vaporizor that eliminates by-products of combustion and delivers a larger potency of the cannaboids and THC without the risks associated with smoking. It is not a cure for pain, it like spinal cord stimulators, alcohol, drugs, they all end up being a pleasurable distraction from pain. At the end of the day the only true chemical distance from pain is in the form of opiods, but with my addiction I settle for vaporized marijuana in combination with antideppresants like cymbalta and traditional anti-inflamitories. If marijuana keeps you from opiods then appologise to no one, use it responsibly, and use a vaporizor. After all we served our country to preserve the rights of everyone the least the VA could do is recognise the real benifit cannaboids have on both pain and deppresion and allow the people who protected this country with at least the option to choose between opiods and cannaboids. The real issue is they dont make money off pot or the suggestion of it's use. They get you hooked on there drugs, then treat you for addiction that they caused generating profits without regard of a patients well being. 13 states recognize medical marijuana for a multitude of issues so there are legal routes to take but at the end of the day there are 22 million americans that smoke daily, if your state doesn't recognise pot as a benifit just ask your neighbor for a sack of pot he's probably got some.

medicinal thc

The VA is Alright with consuming a qt of whiskey but treat you like a criminal for THC. I have been on  pain management for 20 years after being petition to kill people that  never did a criminal act against the US causes me to be blown 20 ft in the air killing 3 and injuring two, I being one of the two injured . We also lost our dear German Sheppard also. I consumed less than a spoon full of marijuana and was told my pain management will end at the end of this month. Who can I contact for help?

VA & Positive THC

NORML, I sure could use some normalcy in my life right about now. For 5-6 years now I’ve been an all but silent advocate for a patient’s right to medical marijuana; careful word of mouth and the blue moon PayPal contributions (I see that is no longer an option were about the some total of my efforts. I was trying to stay under the radar, trying to avoid attracting any undo attention, for I am a military veteran with chronic pain who is ever dependent upon the Veteran’s Affairs for medical and disability payments, and I smoke for medical relief every day, several times a day and have for years. I have unmanaged constant symphonies of pain every moment, fentynal patches leave severe bouts of nausea lasting 2-6 hours while letting in an inordinate amount of pain. From 165 pounds and 5% body fat, my weight dropped to 117, no concern exhibited by my medical care givers. Neuropathic pain is a real nemesis, entirely parasitic and devoid of mercy. Then there’s spasticity, deeper than nightmares. Somehow through all of this, sometimes I struggle with maintaining a balanced perspective - emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Every medication prescribed has unintended side effects and the very real potential of causing irreversible damage to my body. Every year people die from taking the medications delivered to me by the VA Pharmacy. Anyone even remotely educated on the topic of medical marijuana would instantly recognize the many-fold potential for better management of my condition and symptoms with the simple addition of daily marijuana maintenance program. In my case, it has been the only effective treatment for nausea, I’ve gained and maintained 27 pounds of mostly lean muscle mass and I eat regularly as opposed to 2-4 day binges of eating literally nothing, pain levels in general are unchanged in intensity but there is a distance gained from the pain to where it is no longer as suffocating, neuropathic pain is moderately reduced in both frequency and intensity, spasticity responds amazingly to certain varieties, and lastly my general psyche is more balanced, resilient, stable. Two weeks ago the VA screened my urine for illicit drugs, I was only informed they were checking my fentynal levels, lo and behold, I had a lonely THC spike. Now things with the VA are uncertain with sometimes conflicting scenarios being bandied about (i.e., denial of services, retesting, treatment, etc.).

So, I find myself in need of advice on how to chart my course through this idiocy. I have Medi-care but have never used it, I would love to find a Central Arkansas doctor who is tolerant or open to a patient’s self-administered medical marijuana and who could write the prescriptions for the rest of my medications. Any suggestions or insights in how to manage the VA situation would be most welcome, too. Thanks in advance. enderstao at yahoo.com

Pain management and M Marijuana, mather va

I have also been told I must stop all marijuana usage to get any treatment at the Mather VA pain management clinic. I have a current doctors recommendation for the use of Medical Marijuana in California. I use it only once or twice a week for breakthrough pain. The irony of it is that the person who is in charge of the clinic is a Doctor Wilsey who has done published research on the use of marijuana and Reducing Neuropathic Pain. They concluded that marijuana is an effective pain treatment. They also have done this with at least three other veterans that I know of. When will this barbaric treatment end. They would rather we take 5 or 6 pain medications and turn us into zombies and risk death because of the numerous side effects of their medications.

I live in Mississippi, the

I live in Mississippi, the same state where they have the Government Marijuana field, in Oxford. I too, am a Veteran who has chronic back pain (Active Duty injury) and had a regimen of TENS unit with Darvocet. The dosage they prescribed was 2 tabs 4 times a day. When you take 100mg tablets that was a bit much. I was so bombed, I could not function. I talked with my primary care provider and was allowed to use it on a much easier to handle PRN dosage. I had been using it ( along with my TENS unit ) for pain management for over 25 years. I had never abused it, and in fact, I had never needed as much as was prescribed. My refill requests were always farther apart, than what I was allowed. If I did not need it, I DID NOT TAKE IT. I did not share it with anyone and never had an addiction, even though I was informed many, many times it was a frequently abused, controlled narcotic. I also was forced to sign one of those agreements about illegal drugs in my system. The only illegal substance I have used for any length of time was marijuana, and it was beneficial to my epilepsy, migraines and lower back pain. I had informed the Hines VA (Chicago) of this fact back in the 1970's, and it has been in my records ever since then, with no effect on my health care. Then I wound up in this backwards state of Mississippi, with one of the WORST VA hospitals in the entire system. (MY OPINION, my experience, of course.) I had to go to Birmingham VA to save my life, as I am a heart patient and needed help. I had been in MS for almost 5 years and had not seen a cardiologist at any time that I can recall. I have been in two previous VA systems and have never in my life been treated this way or have seen what I have seen here. They want to cut off my pain medicine, will not even consider medical marijuana, and will let me suffer. The hyposcrisy of this is that they have the only Gov't sanctioned field for medical pot here in MS., but the state will have nothing to do with it. One bill was allowed to die without even a discussion, with nothing on the horizon. Where is the compassion for the care of veterans in this country?

i have the same problem

i have the same problem with columbia mo va system i am 70% percent disabled and epilepsy non service connected so they say but all they want to do is send me to the lab to do a drug test which last time i threw the bottle literally across the room and left they are less worried about my depression/bi-polar disorder which is my disability and want to give me zoloft sariquel and tarazodone than worry about my real issues when i went to my cardiologist who got really upset because they all lower my blood pressure and for someone who has unbelievable low blood pressure they had to perform surgery 3 years ago to fix a hole in my heart flipped out and cancelled the zoloft atleast but its funny they would rather kill me then do anything about my medical issues and just want to piss test me funny a prior vet who use to help with leo ops ie law inforcement operations chasing drug boats in the caribean now think this is all foolishness all we ever found was marijuanna and i realize just how much of a waiste of time this was

THC Testing without a sighned agreement

I'm a 100% service connected disabled vet. I have a broken neck, in a nut shell, and fortunately I can still walk and use my arms pretty well. I use weed occassionally and it definitely helps the chronic muscle spasms and bone pain. I don't do narcotics very well and the dr. took me off them. Then the Dr. wanted me to sign a pain agreement to up the narcotic medication. I refused to sign the pain contract or aggrement or whatever and the dr. checked for drug use anyway without consulting me. I was positive for weed. I don't want this blemish in any record (paranoid). The Dr. stated in my records "complaint of marijuana abuse"..... Can the va DR.'s do this! This damn Dr. was more concerned with marijuana use than the problems with my neck. Do I have a leg to stand on and should I get hold of the patient advocacy group? Or should I let a dead dog lie?

Exact same situation here!   

Exact same situation here!    What can we do!?  could you please e-mail me you answer

Advance to be reconized

You have to move to a state where it is legalized for medicinal uses like california. Their the VA cant stop or do any thing to you as well not treat you unfairly. You need a civilian doctor to prescribe it and why. Thus the VA their will recognize but wont prescribe but leave you alone. :) Other wise you have to wait for your state to legalize Medicinal uses only if it falls under severe pain,severe mussel spasms, and severe nerve damages. and till then be their patient like a P.O.W. in your state. Look up state laws under counties conserning uses as well V.A.'s (medical marijuana : Veterans administration says: Medical marijuana drug screening will not void pain contracts for vets with doctors. See recommendations per the county that state under the above heading. i.e. Humboldt County, California Vs: Another subject by itself : V.A.Services & providers (clinic.) in that same county. You just need to do your research as I did. I can't use it where I live I have to move back to my Birth state where its ok. Their you just need a civilian doctor that will prescribe it for the severe suffering  and they provide in that county  a list of 2 doctor's when I looked that up also. Its all about re-search. I have 14 serious severe chronic injuries service connected and welcome aboard the the new battle. I am only 55 and look 85 in a walker. Take 6 T-3's per day & i feel like a lab rat ready to die.  I could't possible tell you all done to me, But I am dying from all they done to me. I can't even keep my weight above 110 and goes down to 93. I also have two shoulders with tears. Been in a $6,000.oo wheel chair and elbow crutches and now a walker.They used Cortizone shots for countless years and left me with severe bone breakage like woman have, But I still drive myself to my appointments. And spend most of my time in bed now slowly dying.

I gotta move or else ! The sting of death like this is horrifying like being in a P.O.W. death camp when I know medical marijuana can & does work. I was on also: Fentanyl 25 Mcg/hr pain patches (liquid type.) Then about seven years latter one leaked (manufacturer reasons.) It normally kills or leaves one in coma status. Now this happened to me twice. I survived ! Now thats like jumping out with no parachute at 15,000 feet spinning out control. I tried to tell the VA docs but they didn't care ! No one was home to take call a ambulance for me and you certainly cant when this happens and after the fact as if you live and its rare you are left damaged ! They did then give me the dry patch , but now it make my nerves shake out control so I cant use it. It hurts to suffer so dearly as I do ! I wish you well from this Old Sarge and this old sufferer.

By the way ; Thank you sincerely for your service :) My salute indeed for a job well done.

Hang in their :)

Sincerely yours,

Old Sarge.

Disabled Ret, U.S.A. ,  (.P.D.R.L.),

100 % disabled vet 21 years ago. Served 1973 - 85

Americas First Family Honor Roll R.I. 1640's

VA Facilities in State with Medical Marjuana laws still test

 

We live in California and my husband  is a 100% service connected disabled vet, he has been in pain for over 32 years from injuries sustained in a wreck during his tour of duty.  Over the past years he has had several surgeries and has been to various private Doctors (Specialist) and Pain Clinics with the all agreeing that the only thing that now can be done is to give very strong narcotics to give him some pain relief.  Six years ago I was forced by my employer to stop working and go on Social Security Disability and lost my private insurance, which forced him back to VA Medical for treatment.  All the doctors there want to treat as though he has never seen a doctor on his back.

As far as VA Medical Centers in California state that it is their policy  to only "RANDOM" drug screening but Pain Management Clinic at California VA West LA  forces each patient to submit to a urine test or they will refuse treatment.   My husband is currently going through the same problems as everyone else, we are both tired of seeing the kind of  treatment all Veterans who seek out  medical treatment at  VA Medical Centers are receiving.  The entire staff from the Doctor clear down to Telephone Operator treat Veterans as though they can not comprehend or carry on the simplist conversation and are treated as though they are druggies, bums or ex-convicts that have no constitutional rights not men or woman who have put their live on the line for their country in which some have become disabled do to some event that happen during their tour of duty.

Even though VA handed down a directive that stated that treatment will not be denied if patient test positive for marijuana in states that have medical marijuana laws, provided that patient complies with the law.  My husband saw a doctor at the VA West LA Pain Clinic just a few weeks ago who stated that he did not care if my husband smoke marijuana or not.  It was VA Policy to refuse treatment to any one who test positive not his.  We are about to confront this doctor in person tomorrow.

 Today we were at VA West LA Medical Center to see the patient Advocate and brought this up and  they agreed  that it was VA Policy to deny treatment for patient that test positive.  We then brought up the directive that was put out in  July 2010 and was told that the directive was never approved I then informed them that it was not only approved but was effective until July of 2015.  Both Advocate personnel were kind of dumb founded when I pulled out a copy of the document gave it to them for their records.  They seemed to be under the assumption that they could tell us that that the directive didn't pass because they did not think that the directive was public record. 

I not only have a copy of the directive but I have obtained copies of two letters on VA letterhead stationary clarifying VA policy on directive.  Both letter are to a Mr.Krawitz, of Elliston, VA, first letter is from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of General Council from Will A. Gunn.  The second letter I have a copy of is from Department of Veterans Affairs, Under Secretary of Health from a Robert A Petzel, M.D.  If any one is interested in receiving PDF copies of these documents, I would be glad to email you a copy of each one.  Just email me a request to mnash@bak.rr.com and I will forward you a copies as soon as I possible can.   

My husband and myself are trying to find a way to get the information out to veterans here locally that need treatment and have been refused because of  VA drug screening practices.  We are attempting to try and make contact to find out who has the last word on this and will update everyone as soon as we get more information.  All else fails we may seek out the New Media.

Sincerely,

Michele Nash

VA denied meds because of MM in unrine

Dear Michele Nash,

Thank you for your letter, I have a very similar situation. (I also see you don't like the word RANDOM either. It is more like profiling. This is a violation of rights too. But don't

I am a Veteran Denied Health Care by VA doctor;

The exact same situation I'm having at the Tucson VA hospital. Possibly a little more ridiculous. If that is possible. Currently the VA in Tucson does not recognize medical marijuana as of yet.

It looks like I am painfully blazing the trail for other veterans so they will not go through this undue stress and anxiety. 

Your story and mine is so close it is scary. I hope it is not too much to write. But any help would be great fully appreciated. I believe I did much of the research you did. I have several of the same information and presented it to the VA advocate. I think I won my case, but you never know with the government. 

Did you need to get legal assistance? Is it possible to sue the doctor or VA?

If there is more recourse I need to pursue, where do I go next? The media, a higher VA representative?

I wrote several VA support groups around the U.S. . 

This doctor is from the old country and is not treating me like a patient after we had the disagreement about the medical marijuana. I want to change doctors but the VA is also giving me trouble in that regard. I think the doctor is trying to kill me.

Thanks for reading, George

 

 

 

Complaint Report                                            CONFIDENTIAL

Denial of Healthcare by VA Doctor                                                                                                          

From: George A.

To: VA Advocates Representative

Date: April 03, 2012

 

Background

I am a 57 year old disabled Vietnam veteran. I was in the Vietnam War. I then worked as an Engineer for Raytheon, Texas Instruments and Delphi Automotive for 25 years. I have been disabled for 10 years and suffer from chronic pain that has been treated using morphine.

On the March 29th 2012 I had an appointment with the new VA primary physician (Dr. R. H. Hazelwood) at the SE Tucson clinic. The appointment went normally until I told the doctor I was able to reduce my morphine dosage by using medical marijuana.

I told the doctor I have an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card. The doctor did not believe I had a Medical Marijuana Card and debated the fact with me for a short while. He was telling me I couldn’t have a Medical Marijuana Card. I produced the MMC; he then thoroughly inspected the card.  He left the room with my card. He returned a few minutes later and returned my card. He asked me where the prescription for the medical marijuana was. I told him the card was a prescription. The doctor’s attitude appeared to change to one of “I am superior and I know more than you.”

At this time I reiterated the fact that medical marijuana allowed me to lower my morphine dosage by 100mg a day. We then discussed the new dosage of morphine I was taking. The doctor and I agreed to the next refill amount and a date to pick up the prescription.

I told Dr. Hazelwood the main reason I came to see him was uncontrollable trembling, little sleep and loss of weight. The doctor said he will look at my blood work when it arrives. I then left the office.

When I returned home, I received a call from the nurse of Dr. Hazelwood asking me to return and fill out a Release of Information form. The nurse went on to say, that she was sorry but they had never had a medical marijuana patient before. I asked what kind of information they wanted to be released. The nurse said the doctor wants to ask why they prescribed it and how much I was using. These were odd questions, but I agreed.

I went to the VA clinic the next day and saw the doctor’s nurse in the lobby. She told me the doctor had written me a letter and she would get me a copy of it (attachment A).

Letter from doctor

Mr. Batty, per our discussion in the clinic yesterday 3/29/2012, when you indicated you did not need the morphine any longer, because the marijuana you were using was sufficient for your pain. Per this discussion there are two areas I must inform you of

#1. I am beginning a weaning process for the morphine which will lead to discontinuation in a 3 week period, and am arranging this weaning script to be available for you asa soon as possible at the Main VA pharmacy window.

#2 . Although you produced a state of Arizona marijuana card (which I have made a copy of), there is no legal means for you to purchase the marijuana in this state at this time (no Legally Authorized Dispensary). Therefore due to your recent urine drug screen being positive for marijuana you have violated your narcotic contract and after the weaning process no more narcotics will be prescribed for you. If you wish alternative pain treatment I can provide you with a referral to the VA pain clinic.                                                                                                    Signed by;    Robert H. Hazelwood, staff physician, 03/30/2012 08:09

 

Response to doctor’s letter, from the patient George A.:

 

The doctor’s letter says in#1, I told him I did not need the morphine any longer because the medical marijuana I was using was sufficient for my pain.

1.       I did not tell this to the doctor.

2.       I told the doctor I had reduced my morphine dosage and hoped someday I would be able to get off all the morphine. I now take 1/3 less morphine daily.

3.       The doctor and I discussed (in detail) the amount I was able to reduce taking and how many tablets of morphine will be in my next refill. He suggested I pick up the prescription the same day I was to have blood drawn (the 6th), a week from that day. It takes a week to have a prescription filled. I agreed on the date for the prescription refill.

4.       The severe pain I have requires I continue taking pain medication.

 

The doctor’s letter says in #2, although you produced a state of Arizona Medical Marijuana Card, there is no legal means for you to purchase the marijuana in this state at this time (no Legally Authorized Dispensary). Therefore due to your recent urine drug screen being positive for marijuana, you have violated your narcotic contract, and will not be prescribed narcotics again.

1.       Arizona state law, Title 36, Public Health and Safety, Chapter 2801.1.

A qualified Medical Marijuana Card holder may acquire medical marijuana by growing it if a dispensary is not within 25 miles (no dispensary’s in Arizona right now). Arizona law says MMC holder may also legally obtain medical marijuana from another MMC holder or they may legally acquire medical marijuana from a licensed caregiver.

2.       Narcotic Contract; Medical marijuana was found in my random urine screen, medical marijuana is not illegal in Arizona if you obtain a MMC from a doctor licensed in Arizona, I have such a MMC. Therefore I did not violate the narcotic contract. To violate the narcotic contract, the urine would have to include an illegal substance.  Nothing illegal in my urine.  

3.       Arizona state law, under Discrimination Prohibited, Title 36, Chapter 36-2813.c. (attachment B) reads; for the purposes of medical care, a registered qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a registered qualifying patient from medical care.

4.       When doctor Hazelwood says in the letter “there is no legal means for you to purchase marijuana in this state at this time,” the doctor is quoting Arizona law. Hazelwood is supposed to be a professional doctor, not an attorney of law quoting incorrect law facts to his patients.

5.       Any questions about Arizona medical marijuana laws, contact the Arizona Department of Health and Safety at www: azdhs.gov/index.htm.

6.       Federal law, the Department of Veterans Affairs released VHA Directive 2011-004 dated January 31, 2011 (attachment C) allowing veterans to participate in state medical marijuana programs.

7.       VHA rules and regulations; Dr. Robert A. Petzel the current ‘Undersecretary of Health for Veterans Affairs’ wrote a letter of clarification about veterans participating in state medical marijuana programs dated July 03, 2010 (attachment D). “If a veteran obtains and uses medical marijuana in a manner consistent with state law, testing positive for marijuana would not preclude the veteran from receiving opioids - narcotic painkillers which include morphine, oxycodone and methadone for pain management in a Department of Veterans Affairs facility.” Dr. Petzel wrote, “The discretion to prescribe, or not prescribe opioids in conjunction with medical marijuana, should be determined on clinical grounds. “

 

 

 

 

Summary

·         I cannot discontinue using pain medication for my severe medical condition.

·         The doctor and I did not have a misunderstanding about totally discontinuing the morphine. The doctor and I discussed too many details about my medications for me to believe his is an oversight. Dr. Hazelwood is not being truthful.

·         Dr. Hazelwood had his nurse ask me for a Release of Information form an hour after I left his office on the 29th. Why does he want a release of information if he is discontinuing my morphine? This information would not be relevant if he is not managing my pain any longer. I contend Dr. Hazelwood didn’t know what to think about prescribing morphine and my use of medical marijuana when I left his office on the 29th. He went home and changed his mind over the night for some reason. He wrote me the letter the next morning (see time and date on attachment A). When he wrote me the letter he thought, you cannot legally use marijuana, you failed the urine screen for marijuana.  You wanted to stop all morphine someday; Dr. Hazelwood decided to make me stop in 3 weeks. Use medical marijuana for your pain, he wrote. The doctor is being sarcastic.

·         I have the legal right (per current Arizona state law and the VHA regulations) to be prescribed opioids by the VA and legally participate in a state medical marijuana program.

·         Michael Krawitzthe Exec. Dir. VMCA(a national advocate for veteran’s healthcare and sponsor of VHA Directive 2011-004) has contacted me and is supporting my position.

In Conclusion

·         I want Dr. Hazelwood to immediately refill my morphine prescription which consist of; 30/100mg, 60/30mg and 60/15mg ER tables. My medications are due for refill on the 6th of April.

·         Because Dr. Hazelwood is not being truthful in regards to the discussion we had about my medication change. I cannot trust this doctor any longer. After my prescription is filled, I insist on a change of primary physicians.

·         I have suffered a great amount of undue stress and grief because of this incident. Thinking I cannot trust the VA or its doctors and/or I may lose part of my VA healthcare is freighting. The uncontrollable trembling I now have has only gotten worse with the stress the doctor has put on me.

·         Dr. Hazelwood did not examine me for problems related to the main reason for visiting him, the uncontrollable trembling. I am still very, very worried about this. My annual doctor’s exam with Dr. Hazelwood included a blood pressure test and he listened to my heart and lungs. The doctor did not give me a reflex test. If a patient has had spinal damage or a back injury (I had surgery on my spine) thorough doctors perform a “brisk reflex test” to see if there is increased damage to the nervous system. He also didn’t perform any sensory exams (using a pin prick or brush) testing for pain sensation and light touch sensation. He is more worried about me legally using marijuana than my health.

·         Dr. Hazelweed is “shooting at the hip” with regards to Arizona medical marijuana laws. Prior to someone in his position makes a major life changing decision for a patient, he should know all the facts before speculating about the law he has not educated himself about. If the doctor would have asked me a question about Arizona medical marijuana laws, I could have answered any question with exceptional knowledge.

·         If all the SAVHA physicians and staff are not familiar with current state and VHA laws and with regards to medical marijuana, I suggest documented training be given to all necessary staff. Other veterans in a similar position should not have to go through what this doctor is trying to do to me. Especially when I did everything according to the letter of the law instead of lying to the doctor.

·         I would like this issue to be resolved in a timely manner. Please contact me ASAP with any questions (520-425-7790). I also want to be advised as to the outcome of my complaint report. I want a documented copy of the corrective action and resolve.

·         I will be reviewing my VA records after proper corrective action on this issue. I do not believe this should reflect any negativity in my personal records. Although, I do want C/A reflected in Dr. Hazelwood’s employment history at the VA. 

·         If I need to acquire a legal representative to further address this complaint report, please let me know ASAP. I am prepared for legal recourse. If there are any questions by the VA advocate, Mr. Michael Krawitz supports me and is available for questions about VHA law and regulations at 540-365-2141, Elliston, VA.

 

 

Attachment B

AZ Statutes Governing the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program

A.R.S. Title 36

CHAPTER 28.1

 

36-2813. Discrimination prohibited

(Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies)

A. No school or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to and may not otherwise penalize a person solely for his status as a cardholder, unless failing to do so would cause the school or landlord to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations.

B. Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:

1. The person's status as a cardholder.

2. A registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

Attachment A (Dr. Hazelwood letter)

Attachment B (Arizona Law)

C. For the purposes of medical care, a registered qualifying patient's authorized use of marijuana must be considered the equivalent of the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify a registered qualifying patient from medical care.

Attachment C (Department of Veterans Affairs VHA DIRECTIVE 2011-004)

 

Attachment D (Letter from undersecretary Petzel of VHA.

 

 

Medical Marijuana

The vast vast majority of patients who lay claim to using marijuana for the putative "health effects", whether pain or nausea is just a RUSE to continue drug habit/s you've done illegally for decades. Now you're just trying to make it legit, and that dog don't hunt!

I've served an aggregate of 29 years in the military on active duty, from Vietnam, Central America and into Iraq and Afghanistan. I too am a DAV, but I'm also a healthcare practitioner. Anyone who has gone through the Vietnam era knows FULL WELL the drug problems we had with troops then, and you people are still out there, sucking the system off. Now you're looking for a convenient=medical excuse to legitimize marijuana use. We HAVE 3rd and 4th generation alternative medicines, whether for pain or nausea, and to make a big stink over your asinine "need" for marijuana just tells me that you were the dope-smoking problem children of the Vietnam era, and little else. And BTW, I'm 80% disabled from gunshots and IED's, so don't come off with this crap about no one understanding your pitiful excuse to legitimize smoking dope. It's called dope for a reason, super trooper.

Look hero we dont need your

Look hero we dont need your dd214 and acouple of things I want to get straight with you. I was in 101st LRSD and 5th Group Special Forces I come from the most respected unit in the world the best of the best. You know what those guys dont smoke marijuna at all you know why. After the third deployment to Iraq we had 7 test positive for cocaine and a whole bunch got some DUIs. You dont smoke because your happy being a drunk living in your bitterness keeping your self on a platform above everyone else. I find it almost impossibe to believe that you have been in almost every single conflict since World War 2. Being in Special Forces there are plenty of lifers and not one of them have been to Nam or Korea because most people from that era are in their sixties and if your not a General you are past the age requirements. The oldest person I met was a CSM 18d who celebrated his 52 birthday in Iraq he too was a drunk. So keep living the fanatsy of how we are all scumbags and only you can save America. You know why the smokers in Vietnam where hated because pot makes people passive which means im not getting up to go get shot in the jungle so some old guy back in thestates gets richer.

Professional.....

I'm a RN. Have been since '86. I'm also a Oz vet, USMC. I receive no disability from the VA, because I've had to work all my life, and don't have the time to deal with it. Now that they have allowed CAD related to Agent Orange, I could probably get 100%, since I've had 5 MI's. However, your statement about the medical use of weed is stupid. They {our all knowing government} do not allow studies to be done, so there is no scientific evidence to say yes or no to the use of marijuana for any medical condition. We know it is effective in glaucoma and pain control, however, people like you deny that fact because of your preconceived prejudiced remembrances of "hippies".

Your Bias Doesn't Help

I'm a Gulf War combat vet with a tank-load of conditions. All the so-called medicines you're pushing are screwing more vets up than you admit. I'm glad to admit that many meds do help, but the issue isn't as simple or black and white as you describe.
I'm also a mental health counselor for vets. I've seen vets come in on literally 15 different meds that are more doped up than any pot smoker I've ever seen. A great example is morphine. Isn't that addictive? Isn't it psychoactive? Wake up! The fact is that cannabis is basically the safest drug that actually provides some relief for many problems vets have. Problems like nausea, PTSD, insomnia and pain. I have nerve damage from nerve gas. PTSD, Panic Disorder and Major Depression from combat. Back pain from jumping off vehicles loaded down with 50 - 100 lbs of gear. I've seen men turned into zombies after the VA had their way with them.
Weed is safer than alcohol, yet alcohol is legal. Take a look at the book, 'Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?', written by the retired Seattle Chief of Police, Norm Stamper, describing this issue in great detail from all his years of experience.
I'm not saying there aren't drug abusers out there. But I see more OEM & OIF vets addicted to violent video games just to get their minds of sh*t than those 'addicted' to pot.
I've seen vets who've got up in the middle of the night on Ambian and tried to carry out combat missions and threaten others lives all while being "asleep" on that dope only to wake up totally disoriented and unaware of what they did.
I'd say going to war, being shot at and bombed is slightly more dangerous than marijuana, but our government has no trouble sending us out for that. Consider the REAL reasons behind cannabis prohibition and you'll see it's money and power. Vets become victims of a system that they have fought to protect. How sad that is...

Do you want a cookie?

Booo hooowie... do you want a tissue??? ""I have done this, and that. Been in this war, and that war."  "Health Practitioner this".     "I know what's right for  you," VIETNAM ERA CHILDREN  " No smokie smoke, no takie pain awayie.  Use OPIATES OUR 3rd AND 4th GENERATION DRUGS I KNOW BEST BECAUSE I'M A "HEALTH PRACTITIONER"!!! 

 

 

AWWWwwwwwwww B.S. on your part , It's gonna happen so live with it nothing you can do about it!

 

It's INEVITABLE!!!!!!!!!

Weed as a Narcotic.

I can see how heroin and weed have alot in common! call me Rockefeller!

You have no Idea Loud & clear

Marijuana Got a demonized name along with serious drugs used by hippies known better as the flower children. The real culprit of the terror in VietNam was in the C-Rations better know As: M.S.G and top it off they issued Cigarettes too which is known to be a killer drug next to alcohol responsible for the greatest deaths! Next to that was a limited powers in warfare for the soldiers to get the Job done. It was a night mare war like S. Korea ! It was limited by fears of Nukes being used as threats on the U.S.A.( COLD WAR ERA.) And this subject is about Medicinal uses some thing you have never realized and you are in a Federal job where you are limited to deal with helping Service Members being out of pain or else you loose your Job! The VA is a good source of helping its best citizens but not in this other realm. I agree that alcohol or drugs in our uniformed services was clean. I saw what it did any realm. We didn't need soldiers falling asleep and alerted X's three. But they aloud recreational use of dangerous alcohol uses and I was injured severely by such is two of my severe service connected disabilities. They didn't test them for doing to me what they did ! That was okay to cause damages to me for the rest of my life and tax payers are paying for that too and the more for all the attention and drugs or other things when they could indeed be saving the tax payers money with simple Marijuana medicinal use ! GET IT LOUD AND CLEAR YET ??????

Loud & clear:

Medical uses only:

For severe sufferers only; Not as a recreational drug ! Whats this got to do with some whom used it in VietNam> Nothing ! Absolute nothing ! We are not talking about while serving ones country. Rather the opposite and much more you all don't want to comprehend. Your not God nor Jesus to see another's suffering's; But rather pretend to know and do things your way making us or trying to make us feel we don't have those sufferings and write it down in our medical records the way you want it to feel in your brains & hearts.

My Grandfather after serving WW I Grew it on his farm for the government uses.I was just a tadpole then. They burned the none uses of the plant & I remember just feeling happy and relaxed & I was just 5 1/2.  No it shouldn't be used in common society, But rather in one where its used as to help one eat, Sleep, and get out of suffering. You have no Idea how good medicinal Marijuana works so well. Other wise you then go with being scared along with the demonized bad dream they made it out to be.

I know far worse drugs the VA issues that do so much damages to our vets! Any way the only harm is when one is tired and driving at night one could fall asleep and hear is where all they need is do like they do with other drugs 20 times more danger to ones driving and good health. Just simply when prescribed like the others is: Warning about driving while use of the drug. Other wise I assure you this drug is not harmful like the real heavy drugs or alcohol can damage and cause death. Even mental meds are by Far dangerous the VA loves to use on ones brain to shut the Vet up and still leave them in all that pain ! They use it on the public as well . Every one these days and allot of them are dangerous to drive while using or at work.

Medicinal Marijuana should never be aloud to be in great quantity when growing for the patient in dire need. Hear is the real danger if the Grower abuses their rights and takes the chemical to another realm the drug they have been using for cancer patients dying or while they recover. This is a lab changed into a higher dangerous drug.

This is where it could be misused and thus given a evil name to the public recreation. 

But medicinal uses are not an abuse in the lower realm of the drug unchanged ! It should only be used for those suffering severe pain and I don't feel you can feel their pain any more then mine. Your not aloud to for now. Your not in that realm of severe suffering to live or else you would not be able to work. Demonizing your veterans that do suffer so severe shows your also not their to care but control like they were in uniform. (before they were injured so severely.)

READ OUR LIPS IF YOU CARE AS A CARE GIVER's: MEDICAL MARIJUANA DOES THE LEAST HARM; YET GREATIST HELP IF USED AS ONLY FOR SUCH REASONS. OR CONTINUE YOUR DEMONIZING THE VERY MEN/WOMEN WHOM WORE UNIFORM LIKE YOU but LEFT DAMAGED SEVERELY or BE LIKE THE ENEMY YOU FOUGHT IN VIETNAM.

GOD CREATED IT THE WAY IT IS FOR A GOOD REASON. IF CHANGED ; IT CAN BE DAMAGING I AGREE.

NO LESS THEN OTHER DRUGS AT HIGHER LEVELS THEY CHANGED BUT GIVE TO VETS THAT DONT GET REST FROM ALL THE OTHER SUFFERING: SLEEP, EATING SPASEM'S, MUSSEL & NERVE PAINS & THE EXTRA PAIN THESE OTHER SEVERE SUFFERING CREATE. ITS EVIDENCE YOU DO NOT LIVE IN MUCH PAIN OR ELSE YOU COULD NOT FUNCTION IN YOUR JOB; SO STOP DEMORALIZING THOSE WHO DO NEED IT; AS WELL STOP DEMONIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA.

SINCERELY & HONORABLY YOURS,

RET, U.S.A. (P.D.R.L.)

 & A.F.F.Honor Roll 1640's R.I.

Very judgmental

You are very judgmental showing a profound disrespect towards others. You do not approve fine, but then to turn around and make prejudicial remarks shows a serious lack of education and respect for the democratic process. What kind of healthcare do you practice, orderly? Your grammar is atrocious and it is all to obvious that you are a liar as well. You sir belong with the Nazi horde from whom you were spawned.

Shocked

To old to understand

apparently those shots and I.E.D.'s did more than you know. Learn some real facts. Than maybe you've earned the right to talk shit.. DOPES like yourself gave Marijuana that name. The drug problem in Vietnam, mostly opiates was a big problem and too deep of a conversation for your simple mind. your stuck in your own ignorant hypocriticalness.

Please do not group >

I never used drugs in Viet Nam we were too busy fighting . Please do not imply that if you went to Viet Nam you used drugs. I would be willing to bet you were in Saigon am I wrong?

this statement by a Lifer

i dont think i ever. exsperianced such an ignorant backwoods statement except from archie bunker. first of all dick,no two people (thank god)are alike. when any "legal" perscription drug is adv. on t.v., great lengths to portray happy users, followed by at least two or more side effects can result in death. choking , blood pressure changes , diarrea, constipation, addiction etc. etc. never ending. now for a list of side effects of marijuana that can cause the previously described issues.......... wait...... i need to research this fact........... hunger? ask a cancer patient, or aids victim, still looking for bad side effects..........centuries of use by indians verses manmade potions that cause acceptible % of death. pot? and the nationwide epidemic of opiate addiction, perscribed by who? our society has decimated many rainforest areas and lost countless natural cures because pharmaceutical companies want there stranglehold on the sick and infirmed. get real youdinosaur, go to your aa meeting or not, drink and drive is acceptable in your world. list the millions alone who died as a result of alcohol, or systematically were abused as a result of i t, i could go on and on.

You Are an Idiot!

What do you know? You got a dam big mouth and I would love to fill it with my fist and foot you stupid moron.  What do you know about every Vietnam Veteran who may have smoked marijuana and you have the balls to just throw everyone in together.  Oh you are disabled from gunshots and and IED? Does that make you extra special or smart? Big fucking deal. Screw you. Ever hear of friendly fire dickhead?

You must be one of those bottle or can hugging alcoholics who shoots off his big dam mouth insulting those veterans who may use medical marijuana to treat their symptoms.  There are many more alcoholics in the military than there will ever be pot smokers.  Even though alcohol may be legal along with cigarettes and other tobacco products that kill, it is still IMO a much more addictive and dangerous drug than some pot. Stick it up your ass you fucking jagoff.

 

 

 

 

 

uh oh

I just pissed hot at the ER at the va....they gave me a script for clonazepam and made a bunch of appointments for me? am i in for a rude awakening?

Tested Positive after 7 Years of Treatment

I live in WV where marijuana is not legal.  After 7 years of continous care from the VA, I finally tested positive for marijuana use.  I have degenerative spinal disease along with being bi-polar and OCD.  The doctor seemed confused as what to do.  He simply stated that I tested positive for marijuana.  Nothing else? 

Now I recieve a host of medications from the VA...  Lortab,clonazepam, and seroquil to name a few.  The doctor wrote a new prescription for the Lortab right after explaining to me that I tested positive for marijuana (mental health writes the prescriptions for the others).

What am I to expect?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all for your time, consideration, and patriotism.

 

Sincerely,

John W Allen

JohnWAllen99@gmail.com

 

vets and pain meds

I received a letter today that all veterans who are on pain medicines will be taken off of them from here on out. If you doubt the letter just let me know and I will be happy to get you a copy of the letter. It specifically says that the only veterans that will allowed to remain on pain meds are those who have surgery or acute injuries and no longer than 4-6 weeks. THIS is what the letter said. The patient advocates two of them, said they got news of that it is everywhere. According to them. I have a spine disease with no unaffected discs left and have taken pain meds for years. The same doctor who has given me pain meds for over 3 years all of a sudden decides the pain meds are for only those who have acute injuries and only for 4-6weeks. So according to the letter all across America veterans who have fought for liberty and suffer due to injury and disease caused by their service, are now to just go off and deal with the agonizing pain. They also inform the public that there is such a high amount of veteran suicides. All over every hospital there are pamplets and magnets and cards and flyers where to call if your suicidal and urging vets to ask for help. YET how many more will now kill themselves because they are abandoned even more to be left with pain not even gettign symptoms treated anymore which is about all they have ever got. treating vets like they are just a bunch of whiny junkies with no real medical problems. On a side note, has no one noticed that the average percent of foreign doctors are 80% foreign? Only 20 percent of doctors are american. Most are from countries who do not agree with our culture and always minimize veterans problems. I have talked to many people who have been pooped on by such doctors. One guy had blood in his urine and his doc said it was in his head. He went to private doc and he had cancer. THAT is what American vets deal with. What urks me more is that lawyers across the country will hardly take on the VA . Well I hope Lawyers are batting up to the plate on this one if they care anything about vets at least let them have pain meds for pain. REALLY..how retarded is a doctor who has given pain meds for years to say "all of a sudden" " oh I have given you pain meds for years but you know what? I should not have as it is only for people to be on for 4-6 weeks." Dont even bother to discuss it in person just send some creepy stale letter saying your cut off. WOW. NEVER a problem with taking them in any wrong way or anything just out of the blue every american vet is cut off. Tapering one dose per month. If you take 4 pills you suddenly get three then next month 2 and so on till nothing. ALL the pain you have had? well IT wont disappear! Well I am getting my suit ready. Hope to see some class actions on this one. I am also going to be monitoring the suicide rate from what it is now and months form now after they leave poor vets in pain all across our land and the public just does nothing to speak up for the vets nor lawyers. Your welcome for your service VA.

vets being taken off pain meds

I received a letter today that all veterans who are on pain medicines will be taken off of them from here on out. If you doubt the letter just let me know and I will be happy to get you a copy of the letter. It specifically says that the only veterans that will allowed to remain on pain meds are those who have surgery or acute injuries and no longer than 4-6 weeks. THIS is what the letter said. The patient advocates two of them, said they got news of that it is everywhere. According to them. I have a spine disease with no unaffected discs left and have taken pain meds for years. The same doctor who has given me pain meds for over 3 years all of a sudden decides the pain meds are for only those who have acute injuries and only for 4-6weeks.

 

 So according to the letter all across America veterans who have fought for liberty and suffer due to injury and disease caused by their service, are now to just go off and deal with the agonizing pain. They also inlets and magnets and cards and flyers where to call if your suicidal and urging vets to ask for help. YET how many form the public that there is such a high amount of veteran suicides. All over every hospital there are pamphlets more will now kill themselves because they are abandoned even more to be left with pain not even getting symptoms treated anymore which is about all they have ever got. treating vets like they are just a bunch of whiny junkies with no real medical problems. On a side note, has no one noticed that the average percent of foreign doctors are 80% foreign? Only 20 percent of doctors are american. Most are from countries who do not agree with our culture and always minimize veterans problems. I have talked to many people who have been pooped on by such doctors. One guy had blood in his urine and his doc said it was in his head. He went to private doc and he had cancer. THAT is what American vets deal with. What urks me more is that lawyers across the country will hardly take on the VA .

  Well I hope Lawyers are batting up to the plate on this one if they care anything about vets at least let them have pain meds for pain. REALLY..how retarded is a doctor who has given pain meds for years to say "all of a sudden" " oh I have given you pain meds for years but you know what? I should not have as it is only for people to be on for 4-6 weeks." Dont even bother to discuss it in person just send some creepy stale letter saying your cut off. WOW.  NEVER a problem with taking them in any wrong way or anything just out of the blue every american vet is cut off. Tapering one dose per month. If you take 4 pills you suddenly get three then next month 2 and so on till nothing. ALL the pain you have had? well IT wont disappear! Well I am getting my suit ready. Hope to see some class actions on this one. I am also going to be monitoring the suicide rate from what it is now and months form now after they leave poor vets in pain all across our land and the public just does nothing to speak up for the vets nor lawyers. Your welcome for your service VA.

Why would the V.A. EVEN screen for marijuana

I am four years retired (after 24 plus years of service) and recently rated disabled at 30%.  My question is, if a Vet is retired or otherwise out of active duty or reserve duty, WHY would the V.A. even screen for marijuana?  I don't see where they would have the reason or authority to do so unless the vet is employed by the V.A. Which leads to other questions, how does the V.A. screen drugs for it's own employees? Does anybody know? It'd be interesting to see.

Thanks

RS

testing is active for veteran use.

They are now experiment testing groups in Bethesna MD for Marinol.

The onl way to pss a THC test on lower grade- mid grade testing.

Drink losts of water, a B-complex with nacin suppliment liquid from GNC 3x's a day. and 8 days before your test take 6 asprin throughout the day. Piss 3 times before your next piss test. Use B-complex sparingly 7 days before. Eat lots of fiber or juiced spinach with carrots and oranges.

If you are in the COSAT program, you now go for 6 weeks and are on color code piss tests for anything including alcohol each week.

 

Then you are tested twice each year. Careful out there.

Passing a VA urine test

When you are clean except for the meds the VA doc wants to see in the urine, like prescribed meds.

Freeze your urine. It will last for a year or so. Make sure it is closed well in the freezer. Thaw it out in warm water and give this to the VA. It has worked 3 times for me.

Medical marijuana and the VA

 

 

 The solution for me was to Keep firing doctors until I got one who would prescribe adaquate relief, DO NOT accept a foreign doctor - they do not like to prescribe narcs. I fired SEVEN before they got the message and always get all your records - I have mine from day one. I am now on Medicaid - The VA here sucks - If i had to go back i will fire my present doctor. Me and my Medicaid doctor have open discussions about MMJ - It's legal here on the state level and i have written the ACLU -= they will help - they are are already working on it. Anybody who does not like the ACLU  can Kiss my A--.

 

Skypilot

Things changing?

      I don't know if my experience is normal or not seeing as the last post was 9 months ago, but here you go.  I'm in the San Diego VA system and visit a smaller center for my treatment (not going to name them for their sake).  I outright asked my primary care doctor what would happen if I'm drug tested and caught vaporizing marijuana for pain, I admitted using.  While I couldn't get him to give me his personal opinion [federal agency] (though his explanation made him sound on our side), he told me roughly this "The VA doesn't care about Marijuana.  I don't care about it.  You won't be drug tested here, and if you are elsewhere in San Diego it doesn't matter if you come up positive.  We are even disregarding veterans who who have tested positive for heroin and meth."  From this point forward he would still prescribe me narcotics when I had pain, though I didn't really take them unless I was over the top.  And were talking 120 tablets (3 refills) at a time without even asking.

       Shortly after I saw my VA psychiatrist (used to be a general care doctor).  I asked him the same question and again admitted using.  He also told me that the VA doesn't care and that as long as it wasn't an addiction neither did he.  He also would not give me his opinion, but, he did say, "I can't tell you if you should or shouldn't use marijuana.  I can't tell you my personal opinion, but I will say this... In trying to relieve your pain and sleep I think Alcohol and narcotics are bad for you, especially alcohol...., especially alcohol."  he then coughed suggestively  and said  "again, I'm not giving you my opinion but as a doctor I don't care if you use marijuana for pain and sleep.  But I do not want us using alcohol and long term sleeping pills and narcotics..., take that for what you will."

      I hope the rest of you are starting to see this as well.  The VA is finally beginning to accept us thanks to strong public pressure and strong willed outspoken veterans.  Good job everyone!  Next goal is to get the VA to openly allow marijuana, regardless of your state's legal status or if you have a marijuana card or not (paranoid).

Q;Between their ears?hint-its sticky it's wet and it's brown

A "mule" or "donkey" is the term they prefer to use for the symbol of a certain political party but it should be the  symbol for ALL politicians in Washington DC. I like the term JACKASS ! It's so much more appropriate because it's a perfect match. When I see any politician on tv I see a jackass with a suit and tie. Like the old saying goes "If the shoe fits WEAR IT. I honestly believe they actually assume the public still believes their BS. and do not see them for the compulsive liars they are. Is it possible for a human being to have the ability to even speak and be that stupid ? I think somebody up north prefers to accept the white stuff over the green $tuff to do exactly the fuck what the paymaster south of the border pays them to do. Nothing. When I see one on tv it makes me LMFAO. They don't have a clue just how stupid they look.

The Scary Part

What's scary is the lack of across-the-board procedures from one VA to the other.  The doctors are pretty much individually deciding what they want and not what the VA should be dictating as policy in pain management.  If you have a doctor who maintains liberal views of medical marijuana use, they opt to disregard marijuana use.  On the other hand, one with more conservative views could deny opiate or other pain medication management, stop prescriptions, and provide a referral for drug counseling.

In the case of testing, a policy should also be established which should be used by all VA care clinics providing pain management.  Things to consider....random or once a year testing with established guidelines for testing , if a person is on opiods etc to NOT tag them with a positive opiod test in the case of prescribed medication, pre-pain management counseling regarding use/abuse/non-use of prescribed pain meds, to NOT test for alcohol or ethanol or metabolic facets thereof, to temporarily issue a mandate to NOT test for marijuana use in any patients at any VA facilities, to NOT recommend a referral for drug treatment for marijuana use unless it is deemed the use caused a medical emergency or the veteran is requesting treatment.

Veterans should be able to expect standardized procedures when obtaining pain management medications....and NOT have to be treated like a second class citizen who is likely suspected of illegal drug use until cleared by a detailed urine drug test.

Until standard procedures are established, all drug testing should be ceased and any records in veterans medical files expunged until approved standards are established.

 

 

 

 

 

VA has to get consent for

VA has to get consent for drug testing....read

 

9VHA HANDBOOK 1004.01 August 14, 2009

consent. Both oral informed consent and signature consent must be documented in the patient’s electronic health record. In accordance with VHA policy on documentation of patient records, documentation must be sufficient to serve as a basis to plan patient care, support diagnoses, and warrant treatment (see VHA Handbook 1907.01). In most cases, a brief statement such as “patient consented to treatment plan” is sufficient for these purposes.

  1. For tests that provide information that is particularly sensitive or may have significant consequences for the patient, as discussed in subparagraph 13a(1), the patient's oral consent to each test must be explicitly documented. NOTE: If specific consent is not obtained or documented, and the patient subsequently objects to the test, the patient must be notified of the patient's right to request that information pertaining to the test be expunged from the patient's electronic health record, consistent with VHA Handbook 1907.01.

also...

 

6August 14, 2009 VHA HANDBOOK 1004.01

(a) For treatments and procedures that are low risk and are within broadly-accepted standards of medical practice, it is sufficient to obtain oral consent for the entire treatment or procedure without explicitly discussing each of its component elements; for example, a practitioner may obtain consent for a panel of routine blood tests without explicitly discussing that the panel includes tests for sodium, potassium, and chloride.

(b) Information about certain tests must be considered “information that a patient in similar circumstances would reasonably want to know” because these tests are particularly sensitive and may have consequences that the patient might reasonably want to avoid. These tests include, but are not limited to, specific tests to identify illicit drug use, alcohol intoxication, HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), sexually-transmitted diseases, and inheritable genetic abnormalities. For these tests, practitioners must obtain specific consent and follow the informed consent process as outlined in the remainder of this paragraph. Signature consent is not required; oral consent is sufficient and must be documented in the patient's electronic health record (see subpar. 13c(1)).

 

When you research this you will find that consent is time limited (30 to 60 days) and ref's to US Code

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