Back in December, Missouri became the 33rd state to legalize medical marijuana. While many stand to benefit from this legislation, those living in the state’s veterans nursing homes will continue to be banned from accessing medical cannabis due to fear of repercussions from the federal government.
On Monday, the Missouri Veterans Commission announced that residents of its nursing homes will not be able to receive medical marijuana treatment, a decision that will affect over 1,350 veterans in seven nursing homes across the state. Additionally, employees working in the homes will also be barred from using cannabis.
The Commission’s official position on the matter is that it is continuing to follow the regulations set out by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which bans the substance under federal law.
“We have to meet VA standards,” Executive Director Grace Link told members of the commission. “We have to comply with federal guidelines.”
Seeing as a portion of the $80 million needed to operate these homes comes from federal subsidies, Missouri officials don’t want to jeopardize that funding through non-compliance. Consequently, hundreds of veterans will be denied the legal treatment they need, due to legislative heel-dragging at the federal level.