21 Year Veteran Denied Access To Critical Care By The VA Needs Your Help

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My father is a 21-year Navy veteran. He is 100% disabled with PTSD due to his service. He is currently living in an independent adult living environment and requires a higher level of care according to his doctor. While there are facilities that can provide this level of care, the cost is about $4,500 a month, which my dad cannot afford.

About two years ago my father started using medicinal cannabis in order to lower his use of opioids. His VA doctor was behind the decision and when my father started taking fewer opioids, his doctor was very pleased.

Right around Halloween of last year my father fell in his apartment and couldn't get up for over eight hours. At that point, we began the process of getting my father approved to move into the Oregon Veterans Home (OVH) located in Lebanon, OR. We were told that he had to meet certain medical criteria in order to be admitted into the home. We have been in constant contact with the intake coordinator down there and were never told that there were any other criteria for his admission.

My father's VA doc evaluated him in March and came to the conclusion that he met the criteria and prepared a letter for the OVH stating this. The letter, along with his medical records, was sent down to the OVH.

Approximately 11 days ago I received a call from the intake coordinator at the OVH stating that since my dad showed that he had been using cannabis in his medical records that there would have to be a note showing that he had ceased using it in order for him to be admitted to the OVH. This was the first time we had heard this. My father immediately called his doctor and requested a note go into his file that he had ceased using cannabis.

Two days later my dad received a call stating that he had to take two blood tests to confirm that he had ceased using cannabis, the first of those tests happened this last Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon I got a call from the intake coordinator at OVH saying that since my dad was positive for THC that they were going to postpone his admission for 90 days, review his file at that time, then he would be put at the back of the line to wait for an opening.

My dad is a frail 81-year-old man that served his country well. He was using a legal substance in Oregon to help him combat pain, a substance with far fewer side effects than opioids and with zero lethality.

We need your help to tell the ODVA to admit my father to the OVH regardless of the THC in his system. He has taken a test to show a baseline for the THC in his blood and is scheduled for another test this upcoming Tuesday. These two tests should clearly show that he has ceased using cannabis.

We understand he cannot use cannabis at OVH and he has agreed that he won't. My father is not some stoned out druggie that cannot handle his life, he is a veteran in pain that was using something his VA doctor approved of. He should not be punished for listening to his doctor