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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

FDA has sent marijuana to patients for 30 years.

Read about the government’s 30-year-old medical marijuana program at wikipedia.

The settlement in Randall v. U.S. became the legal basis for the FDA's Compassionate Investigational New Drug (CIND) program in 1978. Initially only available to patients afflicted by marijuana-responsive disorders and orphan drugs, the concept was expanded to include HIV-positive patients in the mid-1980s. Due to the growing number of AIDS patients throughout the late 1980s and the resulting numbers of patients who joined the CIND program, the George H. W. Bush administration closed the program down in 1992. At its peak, the program had thirty active patients.

The remaining patients in the CIND program were grandfathered in. Today, there are only five surviving patients in the program. Of these, three would have died years ago without cannabis, and the other two would be blind. It’s worth considering that these people had to undergo extensive checks to assure that they suffered from stuff that medical science couldn’t deal with any other way. None were expected to live long.

The FDA has sent each of these five people a tin containing 300 rolled cannabis cigarettes each month for as long as they have been in the program (19-28 years). Meanwhile, other agencies of government have maintained--with varying degrees of straight faces--that cannabis has “no accepted medical use.”

I have seen a judge in a South Dakota Circuit Courtroom allow a Rapid City doctor to testify that to his patient, the defendant, “smoked marijuana is an essential element of his therapy.” Read about Tom Faltynowicz here. Judge Eckrich then sentenced Faltynowicz to seven days in jail for trying to save his own life, while exempting him from a THC violation of his 358-day probation.

What follows is a probation order from Judge Fuller in Rapid City, exempting a possession defendant being probated to his home state of Washington (where he had a medical cannabis card) from being uranalyzed for THC while on probation.

There is only one sane course. Everyone at every level of the system who is not a complete slobbering moron recognizes that cannabis is beneficial to some people under some conditions. The logical course to take is to leave the recommendation for, and application of, therapy to doctors and their patients.

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