Ask Old Hippie: Can Military Veterans Use Medical Marijuana?

Dear Old Hippie: I am a disabled American veteran living in Arizona (which just recently passed their Medical Marijuana act). With all that I go through with the VA….are we allowed to use MMJ? I wanted to apply for my card here in AZ, but wasn’t sure if I would have repercussions from the VA.

A: Well, it’s OK with me. But with all the disparity between Federal and state law, and especially with the crazy stuff going on right now, you’re wise to address this problem.

But the good news is that there’s good news.

Apparently, while the Obama administration seems to be quite down on medical marijuana in general, they’re quite sensitive to criticism of government treatment of veterans. So to make a long story short, the official policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs is that veterans who are legal MMJ patients in legal MMJ states will not be denied services of the Veterans Health Administration. VA doctors aren’t going to sign a MMJ recommendation for you, though.

This comes as a great relief to many veterans using MMJ for PTSD, chronic pain, or other serious ailments, whether due to their service or otherwise. Some people had been getting treated quite shabbily by morally bankrupt pencil-pushers in the VA. Imagine refusing pain medication to an injured veteran!

Once you get sorted out, you might want to look into joining Veterans For Medical Marijuana Access, who recently started a petition on the White House website to ask the Federal government why they are blocking research into treating PTSD with medical marijuana. And then you could ask President Obama how he expects to get re-elected when 70% of the voting public supports medical marijuana and he keeps attacking it.

And thank you for your service!

Got a question for Old Hippie? Send in your questions to him here or post a comment below.

About Old Hippie Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


Not that the old hippie needs verification…but I’m sure it’s helpful to see people agreeing with him.

I also am a disabled Veteran in Arizona. I asked my V.A. doctor before I applied for my medical marijuana card about this same topic.

He informed me that he could not keep my regular pain meds, emergency care or primary medical care from me because of legal medical marijuana use…however, he said that he was unable to prescribe it to me because he was under “federal jurisdiction”.

Before you use though…I would recommend getting your card and using it legally. Just in case your V.A. doctors ever ask. Be smart about it. – Semper Fidelis my fellow Veteran

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