Veteran & VA Hospital Inpatient Tests Boundaries of Conflicting State & Federal Cannabis Laws
Tactical helicopter rescue swimmer veteran recently signed out from the grounds of the VA Domiciliary Program where he is a resident of in New Jersey to maintain his constitutional medical right to use cannabis, as granted with permission from the NJ Department of Health, but contradicts VA medical doctrine and federal laws maintaining that cannabis has no medical value.
Because of contradictory federal and state laws on the substance, he is not allowed to consume or possess his rightful medicine while he is on VA grounds. However his eligibility, under the state program and current nationwide VA directives, guarantees that the VA is strictly not allowed to interfere with a veteran’s participation in any state’s medical marijuana program.Regardless, Jonathan Fruchter does not need a permit, he says, to exercise his religious right if he were to chose to use cannabis on federal property, since cannabis is also a religious sacrament whose consumption is constitutionally protected under federal law.”In order for the Government to burden someone’s religious practice, Government must first prove they have a compelling interest,” says Anne Armstrong of The Healing Church.Alan Gordon chimes in by saying “both jurisdictions should finally acquiesce to the truth that religious cannabis use, undertaken in good faith, is better for people than using it otherwise, and not worth suppressing any longer.”The police may not “substantially burden” your religious practice, and even questioning you for more than a moment might cross that line.Jonathan, on the other hand, recently checked in to a Residential VA Treatment facility for PTSD on December 5th, 2016 at the Lyons, NJ VA Medical Center. He tested the true effectiveness of the patient-centered care philosophy that the VA is proven to uphold, and was not held accountable nor referred to any drug treatment program for his state-approved use of cannabis that he consumed over the weekend after signing out from the VA Dormitory on December 3rd, which is utterly in contrast to the reality portrayed by the federal government overall.Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, illnesses typically suffered by veterans.
Through a directive (http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/VA_013111.pdf) that expired in January 2016, The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), however, specifically prohibited its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program.PTSD was recently placed on the list of medically qualifying conditions for New Jersey residents. Jonathan has recently obtained a NJ state medical cannabis prescription for that exact condition.If a police officer tells you your religious cannabis use is against the law, correct the officer by saying: “Not if it is sincerely religious, and this cannabis is religious matter.””Caution,” says anyone’s conscience, “if you are not a sincere religious cannabis user, in good faith, do not expect to be taken seriously.””Cannabis is a medicine,” Jonathan continues, “that effectively treats all of his symptoms,” and he does not agree with his current VA treatment program maintaining that he be meant to feel sorry for his outbursts and erratic behavior on campus as a result of the post-deployment illness, while he is restricted from using his medicine because of the ironic federal & state limbo.If any officer tries to tell you that religious cannabis use may only be undertaken with a permit on federal grounds, tell him or her that the law specifically prohibits Government from requiring permits for Constitutionally-protected activity (see the case of Boardley v Park Service 2010), and that good-faith religious substance use is protected by an 8-0 unanimous Supreme Court decision (Attorney General v United Church of the Vegetable 2006).