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Dying Veteran Denied Pain Medication Learns Stunning Reason Why

New VA guidelines prevent veterans from getting their prescriptions filled if they use marijuana. They can do one or the other, but can’t do both, according to the new rules. Some veterans are saying the new rules aren’t fair and are affecting their health.

Vietnam Veteran Gary Dixon has Stage 4 lung cancer after being poisoned by Agent Orange while fighting for his country. Now he can’t even get medication to help the pain his service has caused him because of the new regulations.

“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,” Dixon, who lives in Kansas, told WBAY. “I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country.”

Dixon has no shame in smoking marijuana, like many cancer patients in states around the U.S. that have legalized medical marijuana. He also takes 10 to 15 pill a day. He would regularly go to his stroke group therapy to pick up his pain medication, but one of the last times he visited he had to take a urine test and sign an opiate consent form.

“If you take marijuana and you take pain medication these are two things that decrease your alertness,” Dr. Daniel Cline, chief of ambulance with the Kansas VA told WBAY.

Veterans groups are lobbying against the policy change, and Dixon said he will continue using marijuana for his physical and emotional pain and try to come up with the $400 cost to get his prescriptions elsewhere.

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Photo: WBAY Screensho

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