The Medical Marijuana Magazine


Isn't there some sort of government program to provide sick people with marijuana?

Yes, eight people get free marijuana from the Federal government. This is one of the more bizarre aspects of the medical marijuana controversy. The government claims that marijuana has no medical value, but gives eight people marijuana. This is done under what is called an "Investigative New Drug" program, or IND.

The program was closed abruptly under the Bush Administration when it appeared that there would a large number of people with AIDS applying for the free marijuana. The then head of the Public Health Service actually tried to justify closing the program by saying that people with AIDS should not be given marijuana because they might not practice safe sex. He also said that it would send the wrong message to children. This lead to the formation of the Cannabis Buyers Clubs and greatly strengthened the movement for California Proposition 215.

Having even a small number of people use marijuana medically could still be a valuable source of information, but apparently the government does not want to know what it might find out. Some of the people in this program have glaucoma, which has been stabilized for years by their medical marijuana use. Nonetheless, the government has never made this information available to ophthalmologists. At the recent NIH Workshop on Medical Marijuana only the presence of the doctor for one of the glaucoma patients brought out the information about its use.

The existence of this program with its eight beneficiaries proves several things:

  1. These eight people have serious medical conditions, so marijuana clearly has medical value.
  2. The government has withheld the facts about this program from the medical profession. Clearly, it does not want the medical profession to have access to what can be learned from this "investigative" program.
  3. Countless other Americans have been deprived of a medicine that could have saved them from much suffering, blindness and even death, and the government has to know this.