Frequently Asked Question


Opioid Treatments in Veteran Healthcare in the US

Opioid treatments have proven to be detrimental to veteran healthcare in the United States. These powerful medications, while effective in managing pain, often lead to severe adverse effects that can exacerbate existing physical and mental health issues. As a concerned advocate for our veterans, it is crucial to acknowledge the drawbacks of opioid treatments and consider alternative approaches, such as medical cannabis, which have shown promising results in alleviating pain and reducing the burden of opioid-related harm.

The arguments against opioid treatments are compelling. Firstly, these medications can lead to addiction, a perilous and life-altering consequence that leaves veterans vulnerable to a cycle of dependency. Studies have demonstrated that a significant number of veterans prescribed opioids for pain management ultimately develop addiction, leading to detrimental impacts on their personal and professional lives.

Secondly, opioids may worsen mental health conditions, especially in those who already suffer from anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Opioid use has been linked to increased symptoms of anxiety and depression, leaving veterans in a vulnerable and fragile state, hindering their ability to cope with the challenges they face.

Furthermore, opioids often cause side effects that negatively affect the quality of life for veterans. Common adverse reactions include drowsiness, constipation, nausea, and impaired cognitive function. These issues can hamper their ability to engage in daily activities, maintain relationships, and function at their best.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, there has been an average of 25% drop in opioid related deaths.

“Medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids for veterans” a YouTube video produced by Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Medical cannabis presents itself as a viable alternative treatment in veteran healthcare dealing with chronic pain and associated conditions. Research has shown that cannabis can effectively manage pain and inflammation without the harmful side effects associated with opioids. Moreover, medical cannabis has demonstrated potential in reducing anxiety and alleviating symptoms of PTSD, providing a more holistic approach to mental health management for our veterans.

Another significant advantage of medical cannabis is its non-addictive nature. Unlike opioids, cannabis does not lead to physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms, ensuring that veterans can safely use it as part of their treatment plan without fearing the repercussions of addiction.

By advocating for medical cannabis as an alternative treatment, we not only provide our veterans with a safer and more sustainable option for pain management but also open doors to explore more comprehensive therapies for mental health issues. With appropriate regulations and guidelines in place, medical cannabis can serve as a compassionate and effective tool to support veteran healthcare, granting them the chance to lead fulfilling and healthy lives.

The negative impacts of opioid treatments on veterans are far-reaching, encompassing addiction, worsening mental health conditions, and debilitating side effects. As a compassionate society, we must explore alternative treatments, such as medical cannabis, to address the unique challenges faced by our veterans. By advocating for a shift towards safer and more effective options, we can ensure that our veterans receive the care they deserve while avoiding the pitfalls of opioid treatments. Let us stand together in supporting medical cannabis as a viable and promising path towards improved quality of life for our brave veterans.

What Veterans Should Know About Medical Marijuana

As a federal agency, the VA strictly follows federal laws classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.2 The VA’s stance on medical marijuana is outlined in VHA Directive 1315. While veterans cannot be denied VA benefits solely for participating in a state medical marijuana program, their marijuana use must be recorded in their electronic medical records. It’s important to note that the VA is prohibited from recommending or prescribing medical marijuana under any circumstances.

In spite of the ongoing federal prohibition of cannabis, regulations concerning marijuana use and veteran healthcare are continually evolving. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has provided some guidelines below to offer more clarity on the rules for veterans regarding marijuana usage.

As of November 2021, the regulations stand as follows: 3

  • Veterans will not be denied VA benefits because of marijuana use.
  • Veterans are encouraged to discuss marijuana use with their VA providers.
  • VA health care providers will record marijuana use in the Veteran’s VA medical record in order to have the information available in treatment planning. As with all clinical information, this is part of the confidential medical record and protected under patient privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
  • VA clinicians may not recommend medical marijuana.
  • VA clinicians may only prescribe medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for medical use. At present most products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), or other cannabinoids are not approved for this purpose by the FDA.
  • VA clinicians may not complete paperwork/forms required for Veteran patients to participate in state-approved marijuana programs.
  • VA pharmacies may not fill prescriptions for medical marijuana.
  • VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.
  • VA scientists may conduct research on marijuana benefits and risks, and potential for abuse, under regulatory approval.
  • The use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA medical centers, locations and grounds. When you are on VA grounds it is federal law that is in force, not the laws of the state.
  • Veterans who are VA employees are subject to drug testing under the terms of employment.

Although Veterans Affairs will not assist with the medical marijuana application process, veterans have the freedom to seek treatment through their state’s MMJ program, if desired.

A recent government-funded analysis revealed that U.S. Army recruits with a history of marijuana use were just as likely as other recruits to complete their first term and achieve sergeant status. Furthermore, they were less likely to leave the Army due to health or performance issues. We hope that these positive findings will eventually lead to adjustments that allow veterans to access alternative medicine in the near future.

mmj card

How Veterans Can Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Florida

Our veterans endure significant challenges while serving our country, and upon their return, they often face difficulties in accessing the care they rightly deserve. At Affordable Marijuana License, we are dedicated to supporting our veterans in every way possible. Our streamlined online application and scheduling process makes it hassle-free for veterans to apply, and Dr. Pulido is committed to doing everything in his capacity to help them qualify and obtain medical marijuana, providing relief for their conditions. Notably, as the most cost-effective medical marijuana provider in the state, we extend a generous 15% discount to all veterans.

To begin the process, schedule an appointment with Affordable Marijuana License. During the appointment, one of our state-certified physicians will assess your eligibility for medical marijuana based on a comprehensive list of qualifying conditions in Florida.

We deeply appreciate and honor our Florida-based veterans by offering a 15% discount on medical marijuana evaluation appointments throughout the year. To avail of this discount, please bring your military ID or DD214 to your appointment.

It’s worth noting that Florida has a substantial population of veterans, ranking as the nation’s third-largest veteran population and having the second-highest number of military retirees in the United States.

Florida Statistics:

  • 1,594,216 veterans reside in Florida
  • Florida’s military & defense industry supports over 914,227 jobs
  • 202,840 military retirees live in Florida
  • Florida boasts 65,000+ active duty service members & families
  • 70 veterans have been inducted into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame
  • 23 Medal of Honor recipients are from Florida


  1. Zaman, T., Bravata, D.M., Byers, A.L. et al. A national population-based study of cannabis use and correlates among U.S. veterans prescribed opioids in primary care. BMC Psychiatry 23, 177 (2023).

LOGO22 50

Getting an appointment for medical marijuana shouldn’t cause you more stress. We at Affordable Marijuana License are here to help make alternative medicine easy & affordable.

© 2022 Affordable Marijuana License. All rights reserved.