By Steve Elliott
A nationwide argument between the Veterans Administration and groups which protect the rights of veterans emerged in Kansas on Tuesday.
The issue -- whether veterans should be denied prescription medications because they use marijuana for physical or emotional pain, even in states which allow marijuana use -- arose when a Vietnam veteran was denied his pain pills because he tested positive for pot, reports Tyler Carter at KSNT.
"I went in to get a refill on my pain medication and they refused to let me have it, because I have marijuana in my blood," said disabled Vietnam veteran Gary Dixon, 65. While in Vietnam, Dixon was exposed to Agent Orange.
"I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country," Dixon said.
He now has Stage 4 lung cancer, apparently doesn't have much time left to live, and readily admits to smoking marijuana.
Dixon and his wife Debbie on Tuesday drove to Topeka from Fort Scott like they customarily do for Dixon's stroke group therapy and to pick up his pain medicine. But this time, he had to take a urine test and sign an opiate consent form.
"I said, if she was wanting to see if I still smoke marijuana, I said I do," said Dixon, who added he'd been using cannabis since 1972.
He takes 10 to 15 presription pills per day, but Tuesday afternoon he walked out of the VA hospital empty handed.