Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jul 2010
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2010 The New York Times Company
Author: Daniel Robelo


To the Editor:

Re "V.A. Easing Rules for Patients Who Use Medical Marijuana" (front
page, July 24):

The Department of Veterans Affairs deserves to be commended for
ceasing to penalize veterans who use medical marijuana in states where
it is legal. No longer will these veterans be cruelly denied pain
medications or other needed services.

But as your article points out, the department still forbids its own
doctors from recommending medical marijuana to their veteran patients,
who, as a consequence, are forced to go to private physicians that may
be unaffordable. Veterans and advocates have called on the department
to allow its doctors to recommend medical marijuana directly. The very
least we can do for returning veterans is to provide unfettered access
to the medicine that works best for their conditions.

Daniel Robelo

Berkeley, Calif., July 26, 2010

The writer is a research associate at the Drug Policy Alliance.
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