By Patrick McKnight
Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana programs. Despite this expansion military veterans often face greater obstacles to gaining access to medical marijuana than other groups. Veterans suffer widespread health problems including chronic pain, traumatic brain injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder at a rate higher than the general population. When veterans seek medical care from the federal Veterans Administration health system, they not only lack access to medical marijuana but may fear jeopardizing all federal benefits if they admit to personal use. Notwithstanding the rapid spread of medical marijuana across the United States, many veterans report feeling left behind.