VA Issues Memo Reminding Employees That Cannabis Use Is Strictly Forbidden

The United States may be embracing legalization, but the country’s military and veterans communities are not.

A memo issued by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie this week made that abundantly clear. 

“There is no legitimate medical explanation for a marijuana positive test result, other than a verified prescription of certain FDA-approved drugs,” the memo said, as reported by Military Times. “A prescription for medical marijuana is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test.”

Medical marijuana is legal in more than 30 states, while recreational use is legal in 10 states, as well as the District of Columbia. But Wilkie’s memo emphasized that federal law — which still defines pot as a controlled substance — takes precedence.


“Marijuana is illegal under federal law,” the memo said. “Even though some states have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, marijuana, marijuana extracts, and tetrahydrocannabinols are illegal for human use under federal law. VA employees are not permitted to use marijuana on or off duty under the provisions of VA’s Drug-Free Workplace Program.”

The memo harkens back to a similar directive issued last summer by the Department of Defense, warning service members to steer

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