Sometime after midnight on a moonlit rural Oregon highway, a state trooper checking a car he had just pulled over found less than an ounce of pot on one passenger: A chatty 72-year-old woman blind in one eye.
She insisted the weed was legal and was approved by the U.S. government.
The trooper and his supervisor were doubtful. But after a series of calls to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency and her physician, the troopers handed her back the card — and her pot.
For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing a handful of patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around. The program grew out of a 1976 court settlement that created the country’s first legal pot smoker.
Advocates for legalizing marijuana or treating it as a medicine say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation’s 40-year war on drugs — maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it.
Government officials say there is no contradiction. The program is no longer accepting new patients, and public health authorities have concluded that there was no scientific value to it, Steven Gust of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse told The Associated Press.
At one point, 14 people were getting government pot. Now, there are four left.
The government has only continued to supply the marijuana “for compassionate reasons,” Gust said.
One of the recipients is Elvy Musikka, the chatty Oregon woman. A vocal marijuana advocate, Musikka relies on the pot to keep her glaucoma under control. She entered the program in 1988, and said that her experience with marijuana is proof that it works as a medicine.
They “won’t acknowledge the fact that I do not have even one aspirin in this house,” she said, leaning back on her couch, glass bong cradled in her hand. “I have no pain.”
Marijuana is getting a look from states around the country considering calls to repeal decades-old marijuana prohibition laws. There are 16 states that have medical marijuana programs. In the three West Coast states, advocates are readying tax-and-sell or other legalization programs.
I SAY, LEGALIZE IT!!! THEY HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH MONEY THIS WOULD BRING IN TO THE GOVERNMENT!! 🙂 HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE UNDERCOVER SMOKERS WHO ENTER ROUGH NEIGHBORHOODS TO GET IT. 🙂 🙂 hehe