A Few People Get Uncle Sam's Weed 

A Few People Get Uncle Sam's Weed 
Posted by CN Staff on October 21, 2007 at 07:16:42 PT
By Bryan Denson, Oregonian Staff
Source: Oregonian
Eugene, Oregon -- The U.S. government's official policy on marijuana is that it's dangerous and illegal, even in states such as Oregon and California that have approved its medical use. Yet Uncle Sam prescribes pot for 68-year-old Elvy Musikka of Eugene, one of seven test subjects in a little-known federal medical marijuana program. "And yes," Musikka says, "I find it extremely hypocritical."
A cheerful anti-prohibition activist given to big hats and hemp skirts, Musikka has gratefully accepted the federal government's cannabis for 19 years. But she no longer smokes it -- it's too weak. Musikka moved to Oregon three years ago, in part to smoke the state's renowned cannabis. She was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1975 while living in Florida. A doctor suggested she try marijuana brownies, she says, and the drug weaned her from painful eye drops. But in March 1988, after surgery left her right eye sightless, police arrested Musikka for possession and cultivation of marijuana. At trial, facing five years in prison, Dr. Paul Palmberg testified that Musikka would probably go blind without pot. The judge found her not guilty by reason of medical necessity. Later that year, Musikka became the third patient to receive marijuana under an experimental study, the Investigational New Drug program run by the Food and Drug Administration. Under the program, the government contracts to have pot grown in Mississippi and rolled into unfiltered cigarettes in North Carolina. The study reportedly grew to 14 patients but was cut off in 1992, after a surge of applications from AIDS patients. Musikka and others already enrolled were allowed to stay on. Musikka flies to Florida as often as she can to fetch government-issue marijuana mailed to her through a Miami pharmacy. She gets between eight and 16 cans a year, each holding about 300 cigarettes. The prescription for a batch she picked up in March reads: "Use 10 cigarettes over the day, smoked or eaten." Musikka, a patient in the Oregon medical marijuana program, gets her smoke from patient advocate John Sajo, her designated grower, who cultivates some of southern Oregon's potent pot. The two are co-sponsors of a proposed ballot measure to create a dispensary system for patients like them. Musikka wonders why the government hasn't released a report on its Investigational New Drug findings. "My doctor has to write them a report every year stating that I still have my sight, that it's still under control because of cannabis," she says. She complains that the federal government insists on listing marijuana in the same category as drugs such as heroin, LSD and peyote. "Ignorance," Musikka says, "blinds us." Source: Oregonian, The (Portland, OR)Author: Bryan Denson, Oregonian StaffPublished: October 21, 2007Copyright: 2007 The OregonianContact: letters news.oregonian.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by museman on November 13, 2008 at 12:42:15 PT
george is a stalwart ally
He is continuing to help in the battle of fact, reality, commonsense, and sanity, against the insane, unreal, nonsensical prohibition of cannabis.And even as I applaud and recognize the effort, I find one statement, not in error, but incomplete;" "We're not talking about legalization for everybody. We're talking about sick people who need it," he said. What about 'preventative medicine?'The anti-canceral properties of cannabis -as in helping to prevent cancer- are just as much a medical need, as those who are desperately ill. The aid to youngsters with ADS is being discovered, and I believe already has some research backing that up.What about psychological uses? Cannabis is documented as extremely helpful with depression, and other less documented psychological 'illnesses.'And then there is the fundamental glue of our collective reality which is consciousness. If our collective reality is sick-and anyone who would deny this is obviously sailing their boat down that river without regard for truth- then one of the 'cures' -or 'treatments' for that ailment is cannabis.While it is aknowleged as fundamental to repealing cannabis prohibition, the definition of 'medical use' is much more wider ranged than I see the anti-prohibition community being willing to admit and stand with. There is way too much giving in to the various prohibition stances, their fear tactics -like always referring to 'the children' as if the use of such a benign and wonderful substance as cannabis could possibly damage them more than the society itself?Liberty does not exist within current styles of compromise with the power of the status quo. The gift and substance of cannabis is absolute. It was here before any of the crap that has been invented to keep people from benefitting from its use. It will be here long after the last republican has gone into the dust of forgotten history - AND MAKE NO MISTAKE YOU PROHIB IGNOIDS- YOU WILL BE FORGOTTEN IN TIME!The basis and 'legal' justificaion of prohibition is that it 'has no recognizable medicinal use.' And the world is flat, we're the only intelligent life in the universe, a happenstance reality that occcured when two chemicals rubbed together in just the right way (no intelligent design,) babies are found under cabbage leaves in the garden, Santa Claus really exists, and we have a representative government. Based on true interpretation of the basis of prohibtion, the facts have long ago debunked all 'legal' premise and precedent for prohibition. Therefore designating who can use it for whatever 'medical' reason they percieve it necessary for, is no longer legally - in the most truest and fundamental sense- in the hands of the government, but the people, and their physicians,Oh! that's right 'truth' and 'Justice' don't have anything to do with "law" -that little invention of man is all about money and who has it.FREE BLUEBERRY FOR EVERYONE
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Hope on November 13, 2008 at 08:18:00 PT
Comment 5
George! Still looking good! Still dedicating so much of his saved life to others so that they can be helped, too.Wonderful!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by afterburner on November 23, 2007 at 07:48:13 PT
Mandatory Minimums Do Not Work: Learn B4 you Burn
Canada: Minimum Drug Sentences Proposed, Toronto Star, (21 Nov 2007) Fed War On Drugs Slammed, Toronto Sun, (21 Nov 2007) 
CN BC: B.C. Will Need More Jail Space for Pot Growers, Vancouver Sun, (22 Nov 2007)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by Christen-Mitchell on October 22, 2007 at 21:54:34 PT:
Both Clinton (ABC - Anybody But Clinton)and Obama have stated that if they were president that they would not leave Iraq. The Dems continue to fund the war. Sure, there are some awake and aware prez candidates. Without a free press their voice is seldom heard..... And don't forget that the Dems were so upset with the illegal wiretapping that they made it legal. Both the Rs and Ds created and perpetuated the War on Some Drugs. All the Dems say that they will stop the persecution of MJ patients. This is just another campaign promise..... Richardson and Paul are glimmers of light. Someone try to post support of Ron Paul on MySpace and watch the post never make the net.
No Free Press - No Free Country
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by FoM on October 21, 2007 at 18:42:08 PT
Thank you. That sounds like good news.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by RevRayGreen on October 21, 2007 at 18:07:09 PT
Message from George
after article that recently came out I sent him an e-mail thanking him."I have been invited to a hearing in Wisc. Nov 14 . There are and have been 
State and Federal Congressional people in support for a long time there.Hope we can turn it aroundGeorge"FEDERAL POT SMOKER BURNS BOTH ENDS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA 
by Jim Lundstrom, (Source:Scene)10/13/07
Every month George McMahon receives a silver tin of prescription marijuana courtesy of the federal government. He is one of five survivors in the Federal Drug Administration's Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. "Personally, I won," said the Iowa man who has been receiving 300 free government joints every month since 1990. " I don't have anything to beef about. That's really hard to explain to somebody like Jacki ( Rickert, for whom the new Wisconsin medical marijuana bill is named ), who can't win." Even though he can legally smoke marijuana for his medical condition, McMahon remains a tireless advocate for the majority who are still denied the benefits of medical marijuana. "We're not talking about legalization for everybody. We're talking about sick people who need it," he said. McMahon suffers from Nail Patella Syndrome, which is characterized by abnormalities of the arms and legs as well as kidney disease and glaucoma. He has suffered countless broken bones over the years from the disease. He wrote about his medical troubles and how marijuana has helped in the 2003 book "Prescription Pot," in which he describes the quality and content of that monthly tin of joints he receives. "Compared to all the patients who live in fear of arrest and pay hundreds of dollars each month to get black market medicine of questionable quality, I have it easy. I just cut open the joints, clean out the seeds and stems, moisturize the herb and re-roll the joints with my own papers," he wrote in the book. McMahon said he smokes about 10 joints a day in place of other medications previously prescribed that only seemed to make him worse. "I was continually getting worse on legal pharmaceuticals," he said. "I haven't taken any other medicine in 18 years, maybe a few antibiotics and I might take as many as six aspirin in a year. That's it. It's amazing stuff." And that, he says, is why he will continue to fight for everyone's right to legal medical marijuana. "As we teach people, we convert people. We've been converting enemies, people who really thought they were right. They just had to have the information," he said. "If they say they're against it morally, well, that's no reason. If they say science, we can debunk it. But if they just stand there and say no, that's even worse." If anyone wants to know of the long-term health effects of smoking marijuana, McMahon refers them to the Missoula Chronic Clinical Cannabis Use Study conducted at the University of Montana-Missoula with the assistance of four federal prescription pot smokers who have used "a known dosage of a standardized, heat-sterilized quality-controlled supply of low-grade marijuana for 11 to 27 years." Here are the conclusions and recommendations of that study: Cannabis smoking, even of a crude low-grade product, provides effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms, and intraocular pressure elevations in selected patients failing other modes of treatment. These clinical cannabis patients are able to reduce or eliminate other prescription medicines and their accompanying side effects. Clinical cannabis provides an improved quality of life. The side effect profile of NIDA cannabis in chronic usage suggest some mild pulmonary risks. No malignant deterioration has been observed. No consistent or attributable neuropsychological or neurological deterioration has been observed. No endocrine, hematological or immunological sequelae have been observed. Improvements in a clinical cannabis program would include a ready and consistent supply of sterilized, potent, organically grown unfertilized female flowering top material, thoroughly cleaned of extraneous, inert fibrous matter. It is the authors' opinion that the Compassionate IND program should be reopened and extended to patients in need of clinical cannabis. Failing that, local, state and federal laws might be amended to provide regulated and monitored clinical cannabis to suitable candidates. And that, McMahon points out, is just one of many studies that have been conducted around the world. "The studies going on are just mind-blowing," he said. It's not that misunderstood anymore. If they deny it now, it's knowingly doing it. There's no lack of credible information. The science has been done and pretty basically if they're not looking it up, it's willing ignorance. They're not really that ignorant. It's up in the air to see what they do."
5/5/07 George McMahon and I
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on October 21, 2007 at 17:42:13 PT
I agree with what you are saying except about the Democrats. They've tried and tried but the Republicans block them. The Democrats don't have enough votes to try to do more so we will wait until we have a new president and it will be a Democrat I believe after all these years of disaster under Republicans. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Christen-Mitchell on October 21, 2007 at 17:27:32 PT:
More Research
The mantra of the prohibs for decades was that 'More Research was needed to evaluate the effectiveness of Cannabis as medicine.' At the same time they did not allow any possibly positive research to be conducted. Any that emerged was ignored. With the exception of the above mentioned annual Doctor's reports, this program has had absolutely no data recorded. Hypocrisy from the police state. It has never been the true goal of the DrugWar to stop drugs, just to increase their power and profits. The recent crash of a second CIA owned plane with over 3.5 tons of Cocaine within the last year is one example. 
The same for all it's phony wars. This administration doesn't want to succeed in Iraq, only destroy the country for its oil. And it would seem that the Democrats don't want to stop the war, just damage the Republicans to position themselves for '08'. There's right, and there's politics. 
Hemptopia - Our Greener Future
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 21, 2007 at 08:26:18 PT
A Smokescreen for Criminals
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 21, 2007 at 07:23:14 PT
Marijuana Patients Caught in a Cloud of Confusion
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment