Military veterans and medical marijuana – a combustible mix.

TAMPA — When a newly retired U.S. Army veteran applied for a job in March, he told the local recruiter that he was using CBD oil through Florida’s medical marijuana program.

The revelation was soon confirmed by a failed drug test. The federal contract position would have paid $10,000 for a month’s work abroad — needed money for his family. But forced to choose between his health and his wallet, he kept taking the CBD oil.

“I don’t think it’s right that we have to make that choice,” said Vincent, 45, who asked that his full name not be used out of fear his legal cannabis use could jeopardize his veteran benefits.

Veterans like Vincent — who served two tours in Iraq — find themselves increasingly frustrated with the hurdles they face in trying to access marijuana for medical purposes even as support for legalizing the drug continues to grow.

Lucrative federal jobs become off limits even if they reside in one of the 34 states with a medical marijuana program. They need to pay out of pocket for the drug and required doctor visits, and it has to be in cash because banks can’t work with the marijuana industry

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