What Ohio Veterans need to know about Medical Marijuana
Can my VA doctor recommend Medical Marijuana?
No. Even if Veterans qualify under Ohio law, VA doctors cannot recommend Medical Marijuana and cannot register Veterans in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program at this time1. However, we encourage Veterans to talk to their VA doctors about Medical Marijuana. Our goal is to coordinate with your doctors and become part of your healthcare team! The doctors at Compassionate Cleveland can guide you through the Medical Marijuana recommendation process. Veterans can learn more about which conditions qualify under Ohio law and move to the next chapter in their treatment.
Can I keep my VA doctor?
Yes. Veterans who participate in state-approved medical marijuana programs will not be denied access to VA healthcare1.
What does Ohio law say about Medical Marijuana for Veterans?
Once the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program is active, Veterans with qualifying conditions are entitled to receive a 50% discounted registration fee: $25 for veterans or people receiving federal disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)2.
Ohio Dispensaries will be allowed to participate in programs such as Veteran discounts for Medical Marijuana products3. We look forward to informing Ohio Veterans which dispensaries will be participating in Veteran discounts on our blog!
Do I need an honorable discharge to qualify for the discounted Ohio Medical Marijuana registration fee?
Veterans can qualify for the discount with:
General under Honorable conditions
Discharged or Released under conditions other than honorable2.
How do I show proof of military service?
All acceptable proof documents except the VA identification card must show veteran discharge:
DD-214, DD215, or national guard bureau (NGB) military discharge certificate indicating disposition of discharge
Department of Defense identification card
active, retired, temporary disability retirement list (TDRL)
Report of separation from the National Archives National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri
VA identification card2
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Is PTSD a qualifying condition for Medical Marijuana?
Yes. PTSD is a qualified condition in Ohio.
Will I lose VA disability compensation if I use Medical Marijuana?
No. The VA cannot terminate disability compensation for Veterans using medical marijuana. The VA can terminate your disability compensation if your claim is found to be fraudulent4.
Please note: All Federal employees, including Veterans employed by the Federal government, are still not authorized to use marijuana and are subject to drug testing under the terms of employment.
Will using Medical Marijuana affect making new claims?
The VA will evaluate each claim to determine the direct cause of the claimed disability. According to VA policy, if a Veteran’s alcohol or drug abuse is determined to be part of, or secondary to, a service-connected condition such as PTSD, any disease or disability resulting from the alcohol or drug abuse should still be service-connected5.
MyHealtheVet Premium members can also locate their medical records on-line by accessing their account.
Which medical records does Compassionate Cleveland need?
Your VA Disability Letter is one of the best ways to prove that you have a qualifying condition under Ohio’s medical marijuana law.
Other medical records that can help in creating a treatment plan include your active medical “problem list”, a copy of lab or imaging reports, and a list of your current and past prescription medications.
Veterans have options regarding their treatment. Some veterans may qualify for Ohio’s Medical Marijuana program. Compassionate Cleveland is dedicated to helping Ohioans be informed partners in their health decisions and guiding them through the recommendation process.
Dr. Zaraa is a board-certified psychiatrist in General Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He is an Assistant Professor Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and an Associate Professor at Baldwin Wallace University.