New VA Veteran Suicide Program Won’t Allow Cannabis as Treatment

New VA Veteran Suicide Program Won’t Allow Cannabis as Treatment
High Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a notice on March 10 on the Federal Register, introducing a new effort to help prevent veteran suicide. The Staff Sergeant Parker Gordon Fox Suicide Prevention Grant Program is a three-year program created for “eligible entities to provide or coordinate the provision of suicide prevention services to eligible individuals and their families for the purpose of reducing veteran suicide.” However, the program the VA specifically states that program benefits will not be provided for medical cannabis, as it is still illegal under federal law. “It is also important for VA to note that any approaches and treatment practices approved will need to be consistent with applicable Federal law,” the article states. “For example, the use of grant funds to provide or coordinate the provision of marijuana to eligible individuals and their families will be prohibited, as marijuana is currently illegal under Federal law.” Multiple organizations participated in crafting the program, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide. These organizations helped shape “various aspects” of the program. In total, the VA notes that it received 124 public comments as well, which provided feedback on eligibility “…such as distribution and selection of grants; administration of the grant program, including development of measures and metrics; training and technical assistance; referrals for care; degrees of risk of suicide and processes for determining degrees of risk of suicide; and nontraditional and innovative approaches and treatment practices that may be appropriate under this grant program.” Although cannabis fits under the category of “nontraditional and innovative” treatments, its federal illegality makes it off limits to those who want to apply for the program. However, public comments will still…

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Source : New VA Veteran Suicide Program Won’t Allow Cannabis as Treatment

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