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Kansas Veteran Encourages Missouri Medical Marijuana Legislation - KOAM TV 7

Kansas Veteran Encourages Missouri Medical Marijuana Legislation

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FORT SCOTT, KANSAS -

Missouri senators are preparing for a possible debate on legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes.  One Kansas man says he may consider moving to the Show Me State if that legislation passes.

Meet Gary Dixon and Lil' Guy.

"He understands me without saying anything.  He's here and it's like he knows when I hurt," Dixon says while petting his dog. 

Dixon served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to '70.

"I'm a very proud American," says Dixon.

He served in the Vietnam War, and says he has cancer from agent orange.  Dixon says the horrors of war definitely took things away from him, physically and mentally.

Dixon says he also has severe PTSD.

"You're always alone.  About the only people I like to hang around are other Vietnam veterans.  I can hang around other veterans, too.  But when I'm around Vietnam veterans, I'm comfortable.  I don't have to say anything.  They know, says Dixon.

Dixon's closest Vietnam veterans know about his extreme pain.  He says he has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. 

"When I get out of this chair, it's going to hurt so bad I'm just about going to scream," says Dixon.  "People hurt so, what the hell.  But I don't want to take the other stuff.  The hydrocodone, the oxycodone.  I just don't want that stuff anymore."

Dixon says the problem is the same dosage of prescription pain pills over time doesn't help.  He says marijuana is more effective. 

"If you have somebody who has been addicted to opioids, or there's a concern of addiction, then the marijuana lozenge or whatever it's going to be would be an alternative if it does meet the needs of what the physician needs it to do," says Missouri State Representative Bill White.

White voted in favor of the medicinal marijuana legislation.  Opponents say it could make it easier for children to get access to marijuana.

"The same restrictions and cautions you should use with any medicine should apply to this," says White.

Dixon knows the medicinal marijuana topic will likely be controversial even if current legislation passes.

"I can just say it's right for me," says Dixon.

A soldier still at heart, Dixon says it's time for him to direct lawmakers.

White says Missouri's medical marijuana proposal can also be called a federal clinical trial.  He says signs point to marijuana becoming an FDA-approved drug in three to four years.

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