THC positive in VA screening test


I was shocked today at my regularly scheduled checkup at the VA when my provider told me that as a "new" patient I had been drug screened and had tested positive for THC. Recreational use is legal in my state and I do not take any pain medications. I feel violated by the VA having screened me without my prior knowledge or consent. I would like to report this as a violation of my 4th amendment rights. Does the VA have any legal authority for drug screening veterans without their knowledge or consent?

Jim's Reply:

There is a health crisis in America today...opioid drug abuse. If this were a kidney or liver crisis and citizens were dying at alarming rates, nobdy would question urine and blood screens for kidney or liver disease but if you're tested for drugs (with no penalty attached) suddenly it's a violation of your rights? Here's how it works...VA is supposed to notify you of any testing that if known could have an effect on your personal life, work, etc. This is called informed consent and you are supposed to be notified of any testing for HIV, Hepatitis, STDs and so on. The policy and a whole lot more is here  For what it's worth, nobody will pay much attention to you and your 4th Amendment rights at VA. If you don't want to be drug tested next time, tell your doctor up front. They'll do it anyhow,  but at least you tried. For what it's worth, I get drug tested by my civilian doctor and the VA every time I cross the doorway. This is not a VA policy, this is a nationwide policy enforced by the DEA. Call them if you have a complaint, I hear they're open 24/7. I always test positive for THC, I have an MMJ card in Florida. Nobody cares, it's rarely mentioned at all.