Topeka, Kansas' Gary Dixon fought for his country in the Vietnam war and lived to talk about it, despite being exposed to Agent Orange. Now he's got stage four lung cancer with little time left to live.
Dixon went to pick up his prescribed pain medication this week and was denied simply because he had smoked marijuana. "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 said in an interview with a local NBC news station.
"I hurt, and I hurt from something I got fighting for my country," Dixon added.
Dixon takes 10-15 pills a day to combat the pain from cancer. He's the latest example of a growing national debate about veteran's rights and whether they should be denied prescription medications because they use marijuana for mental, physical or emotional pain—pain caused by fighting for their country.
Under a newish VA guideline, veterans can get their prescriptions filled, or use marijuana, but can't do both.
Dixon says he'll continue to use marijuana because it's helping him, and will try to find the $400 a month to pay out of pocket for his medications.
Currently, there are several veteran groups lobbying congress to change the VA's policy about using marijuana.