Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pot Patient: "If I Didn't Smoke Marijuana, I Would Be Blind"

Photo Credit: Erik R. Bishoff on Flickr

In 1988, a federal program made Elvy Musikka one of the first Americans to receive medical marijuana. Now a marijuana activist, she shares her inspiring -- and enraging -- story.
November 14, 2011

LOS ANGELES — In 1988, Elvy Musikka (pictured) became the first woman in the United States to be legally permitted by the federal government to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes, due to a case of Glaucoma that threatened to render her blind.

Armed with a mountain of paperwork, a dedicated doctor and a savvy attorney, she managed to get both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to sign off on her right to access the only medicine that alleviated her symptoms, joining a tiny, exclusive group who have successfully used the legal system to gain access to medical marijuana grown by the feds.

To this day, reform advocates point to the Compassionate Investigational New Drugs program as a glaring hypocrisy. After all: How can the government continue to insist that marijuana has no medicinal value when it is also producing it as a medicine for this select group of patients?

Each and every month, Musikka eligible to receive 300 marijuana cigarettes, grown, rolled, packed and shipped by employees of the U.S. government, as part of a program that officially stopped accepting patients on orders of President George Bush, Sr. in 1992.

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