A 72-year-old woman was a passenger in a car that was pulled over earlier this week by an Oregon state trooper. The trooper discovered less than an ounce of marijuana on the elderly woman. She told the officer that the pot was legal and supplied by the federal government. After some checking into the matter, the authorities learned she was telling the truth. There are only three other patients in the country who receive federal weed.
Claim turned out to be true
After some phone calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Agency, the state troopers returned the marijuana to Elvy Musikka, who is blind in one eye.
It turns out that the U.S. government has been supplying a small number of patients with the highest grade medical marijuana since the mid-70s. At one time there were 14 patients in the program, but now there are only four.
Court settlement in 1976
The program stemmed from a 1976 court settlement in which a federal judge ruled that Robert Randall of Washington, D.C., would receive medical marijuana from the Food and Drug Administration for his glaucoma. He became the nation’s first user of legal medical marijuana.
Randall’s case led to a program in 1978. Many petitions followed from people who felt they had legitimate medical reasons to use the drug. In 1992, under the George H.W. Bush administration, the doors were closed on the program and no new patients have been accepted since.
Is it a contradiction?
Medical marijuana advocates say the program is hypocritical because medical marijuana is illegal on a federal level. However, Steven Gust of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse told The Associated Press there is no contradiction. According to Gust, the government continues to supply the four patients as a courtesy.
He also said that public health experts have determined there is no scientific basis to believe the drug helps glaucoma or any other malady.
Woman says pot is a painkiller
Musikka, however, who began receiving government dope in 1988, begs to differ. She said the federal authorities “won’t acknowledge the fact that I do not have even one aspirin in this house. I have no pain, (because of the pot).”
The federal weed has been grown at the University of Mississippi since 1968 to supply not only a handful of patients, but for scientific research on the drug.
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