Medical Marijuana: FSA Eligibility
What is medical marijuana?
The term medical marijuana refers to the cannabis plant and its cannabinoid products when they are used to treat, prevent or alleviate a disease or medical condition or symptoms of either. There is no overall agreed-upon definition of medical marijuana, and it is still under various states of regulation at the federal, state and local levels across the United States. The American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine have officially stated their opposition for the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
States in the United States which have regulated medical marijuana also typically have stopped prosecuting individuals for possession of limited quantities of marijuana, and allowed individuals with medical marijuana credentials that meet state regulations to also avoid fines, arrests, and prosecution. Many states still fine, arrest and prosecute people with any marijuana, regardless of what credentials accompany them from other states.
Under Federal law, possession of marijuana and other controlled substances is a crime, even if prescribed by a physician. This is the case even if state law allows and even if the Federal Department of Justice has taken a non-enforcement policy in states that have legalized the medical use of marijuana (e.g., California and Michigan) or the recreational use of marijuana (e.g., Colorado and Washington).
Medical marijuana is not eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.
Medical marijuana may be purchased in the plant form, which is most commonly dried, burned, and inhaled. Other products and forms include liquids, edibles, vaporization, capsules, dermal patches, and sprays.
While there is some evidence that medical marijuana is useful in stimulating the appetites of HIV/AIDS patients, and reducing nausea in chemotherapy patients, no federal legislation has legalized medical marijuana yet. Additionally, some foreign countries outside the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana or even added it to their list of prescribed medications (MedicineNet.com). However, even if purchased as a medicine while in a foreign country, medical marijuana can't be reimbursed with a consumer-directed healthcare account because it's not eligible within the United States.