New Mexico is the only state that explicitly allows people with PTSD to smoke pot under its medical marijuana law—and that's created a conundrum for the VA, which does not allow its doctors to prescribe pot because the drug is illegal in the eyes of the federal government. If that changed, says an Iraq vet who turned to pot when nothing else worked, "Oh my God, it would be so helpful." And it could change soon.
New Mexico isn't the only state that allows medical marijuana prescriptions in conflict with the VA, resulting in a mishmash of regulations. The VA says it is developing a national policy, and an advocate says a VA policy allowing medical marijuana "is inevitable." Still, "the irony in this is it's a common thing for veterans to tell me, 'The VA is telling me if I just stay away from medical marijuana, we'll give you all the pills you want, morphine, whatever,'" he said.