DENVER -- War veterans in Colorado seeking relief in the form of legal marijuana will not face any resistance from the Veterans Administration Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, a spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
“Use of state-approved marijuana does not disqualify a veteran for healthcare, and it will not result in any sort of retaliation or denial of services,” VA spokesperson Dan Warvi said in an interview with FOX31 Denver.
Warvi's statement squashed long-running speculation that veteran's might have their federal health plans revoked if any marijuana was found in their system, considering the drug is still illegal at a federal level.
Trying to dissuade those fears, Warvi urged vets that VA doctors in fact want them to disclose any marijuana usage, as some prescribed medications can react violently with THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
"We want to sit down with veterans and say, 'Look, you told us you’re on this. What can we do for you now? We want to help you get better.'" Warvi said.
That was apparently big news for a growing number of veterans, who say marijuana can ease the pain of injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.
On Thursday, a day after Warvi's interview with FOX31 Denver, Roger Martin said he got an avalanche of interest in his nonprofit, Grow4Vets, which offers free marijuana to veterans, along with equipment to grow marijuana plants.
Martin started Grow4Vets to offer a way to get around medical marijuana requirements that have restricted veterans in the past. He called Warvi's statement on Wednesday a "watershed moment."
"To have someone from the VA tell veterans in Colorado that they're not going to lose their benefits if they use medical marijuana, it was huge," Martin said. "We had over 300 veterans contact us by email and sign up online for our program after they heard your interview with the VA."