A terminally ill veteran in Topeka, Kansas has been denied his prescription medications after testing positive for marijuana.
Now, a debate is raging, about this controversial government practice of denying medication to patients who use marijuana – even in states which allow medical marijuana use.
One Vietnam veteran contacted local KSNT News and explained that “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.”
Gary Dixon is a 65-year-old disabled veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and has debilitating pain. He has been assessed by doctors as terminally ill. But relief from that pain doesn’t matter to the government, who says that if he touches marijuana, pain medication is off limits for him.
“I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country,” Dixon explaned.
Dixon has stage four lung cancer. He admits that he used marijuana for pain relief, but he never thought the government would deny him his prescription pain medication because of it.
When he went to pick up his medicine the last time he had to take a urine test and sign something describing itself as an opiate consent form.
“I said, ‘if she was wanting to see if I still smoke marijuana, I said I do’,” Dixon recalls.
Dixon normally has to take 10 to 15 of these pain pills a day, but Tuesday afternoon he left the VA hospital with nothing to manage his pain.
Under new VA guidelines, veterans cannot get their prescriptions filled if they use marijuana.
“I have always had marijuana in my blood and will continue to have it in my blood,” Dixon explains.
Dixon says he will still use marijuana as one way to manage his pain. But he will need to find a way to raise the $400 for his other pain medication… all to cope with symptoms from Agent Orange, which the United States government exposed him to.
Watch the local report below and let us know what you think…
(Article by Jackson Marciana and M. David)