V.A. And Veteran Marijuana Issues



While the V.A. has demonstrated intent to veer away from their “zero tolerance policy” on medical marijuana, V.A. policy is still just transitioning and the laws in force still reflect a strict no-marijuana policy. What this means is, although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has said “yes” to research, the V.A. may still say “no” to veteran use of marijuana.

With several Armed Forces veterans on our team at Feldmann Nagel Cantafio PLLC, we see the issues faced by those in the military all the way through; further, we understand in depth the infrastructure of the Military and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Our insight, coupled with over seven years of experience providing legal services to the cannabis industry, sets the tone for our team’s approach to military cases involving marijuana. With the law regarding veteran use still in the early stages of transitioning, and the edible marijuana market going up in smoke, veterans are at risk for being mistaken over V.A. policy, and active duty members are increasingly at risk for accidental ingestion of marijuana.

Our team has experience representing active duty military members facing discharge for alleged disciplinary violations because of positive urinalysis results from routine random drug screening. In attacking these cases, our team has access to toxicology experts who are able to analyze the issues from all angles by evaluating the scientific literature and the government’s evidence of alleged ingestion. The experts employ scientific data to produce opinions relating to what can and cannot be discerned from: positive urinalysis results, the concentration of the drug metabolite found in the urine and the detection windows for the particular drug in question.

For the government party to succeed on a conviction for wrongful use of a controlled substance, the government must prove the service member knowingly ingested the banned substance. When a service member is without knowledge of the contraband nature of the drug—under Article 112(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice—use is not wrongful. With the use of expert toxicologists, our team has presented “innocent ingestion” or “accidental consumption” defenses on behalf of service members accused of wrongful use of marijuana.

In a case where the service member, while on authorized leave, accidentally ingested a marijuana edible belonging to that service member’s significant other, the expert utilized modern science and considered a variety of factors in conjunction with the recent literature on marijuana edible products. The expert looked at the average concentration of THC in edibles:

The expert formed opinions based on the accused service member’s body mass index:

The expert looked at what is typical in regards to physiological effects and dosage, and produced opinions about the possible influence of other substances:

And of course, the expert pulled it all together to form overall conclusions:

A key and critical part of any case heavily involving a scientific component is ensuring the use of accurate and reliable experts. At Feldmann Nagel Cantafio PLLC, we come prepared. Contact our team for help with issues involving positive urinalysis results, potential for disciplinary discharge from the military, innocent and accidental ingestion defenses, or any other issues related to service members and cannabis use.

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To speak to a member from our firm about your case, call us at (888) 458-0991 or fill out the form.

  • Background in the drug enforcement arena

    <b>Background</b> in the drug enforcement arena
  • Offering more than 10 years of experience in the mj industry

    Offering more than <b>10 years</b> of experience in the mj industry
  • Close relationships with state & local officials

    Close <b>relationships</b> with state & local officials
  • We produce results

    We <b>produce</b> results

Former DEA Task Force Commanders, Federal and State Prosecutors, Judges, Certified State Fraud Investigators, CPA's, and Law Enforcement on Staff