Irv Rosenfeld’s 30th Anniversary of Getting Marijuana from the Feds

Today is a notable occasion. It is the 30th anniversary of a Florida man gaining the ability to use marijuana for medical purposes and of the beginning of a bafflingly hypocritical stance by the federal government.

One of the strangest ironies in the government’s war on marijuana is demonstrated by a man named Irv Rosenfeld. The federal authorities still officially maintain the legal fiction that marijuana has no accepted medical use; the substance is still classified in Schedule I, and medical marijuana providers are still raided and prosecuted by the DEA. Yet, the federal government has been producing and delivering marijuana to Rosenfeld for decades. Rosenfeld suffers from a rare bone disorder, multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses, in which cancerous spurs of bone grow outward through his body, causing extreme pain and necessitating six surgeries to date. To treat his condition, he receives approximately 300 pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes from the federal government every 25 days.

The marijuana is produced at the University of Mississippi as part of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program. This program, administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was first established in response to the successful lawsuit against the government on behalf of Robert Randall. Randall, a glaucoma patient, was arrested for growing his own medicine in 1975, but successfully employed a “medical necessity” defense. Since it was established that marijuana was the only medicine that worked to control his glaucoma, it was argued that any sensible person in such a situation would violate the marijuana laws rather than allowing themselves to go blind. The program currently supplies medical marijuana to only four known surviving patients; it was closed to new applicants by the first Bush administration in 1991, rejecting hundreds of already filed applications.

Rosenfeld works as a stockbroker. Contrary to official innuendo about the incapacitating effects of the marijuana “high,” he shows all signs of being fully functional while smoking 10-12 joints per day. Federal anti-drug authorities show no interest in studying his case, while simultaneously complaining of the lack of evidence for the medical efficacy or safety of smoked marijuana. They are apparently also not concerned with the 1988 ruling of the DEA’s own Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, who found that “marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people” and is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” The federal government even holds a patent for the medical use of cannabinoids, chemicals found in marijuana.

Rosenfeld will be in Illinois from Tuesday through Thursday of next week, in support of the medical marijuana bill under consideration in the state legislature. Anyone interested in interviewing him should contact Morgan Fox, either through email at media@mpp.org or by phone at 202-905-2031.

11 thoughts on “Irv Rosenfeld’s 30th Anniversary of Getting Marijuana from the Feds”

  1. Doesn’t it seem strange that they are issuing these rolled-up paper $igarettes (I read somewhere they contain 900 mg in comparison to the 700 mg found in a traditional “filter $ig” like Winston or Marlboro) to Mr. Randall rather than a periodic cannister of some herbal material ready to use in a vaporizer?

    Hasn’t it been five (5) years since the MAPS/Donald Abrams, UCSF study of a vaporizer, showing improved reception of cannabanoids but successful avoidance of carbon monoxide and other combustion toxins? Why would the United States Federal Government authorize its “Drug” enforcement officers, who watch over and guard the cannabis supply, to issue it in form of $igarettes, appearing to endorse a Hot Burning Overdose Monoxide $igarette (HBOMS) format, rather than promote a shift to healthier dosage administration options such as vaporizer?

    Does our Government have a stake in keeping the 700-mg or 900-mg per lightup fire furor going?– after all according to an R. J. Reynolds website government entities in the USA are collecting $44.5 BILLION in $igarette taxes, and if officially approved vaporizer use spread over from cannabis to tobacco, and got adopted by users instead of “a (700-mg) cigarette” the sales figures would plummet carrying down also the tax revenue figures.

  2. If science tells us that cannabis is safer than alcohol and that cannabis is non toxic and will not kill our children like alcohol does then we would be rather stupid not to promote it over alcohol. Just a thought.

  3. In truth, the continued prohibition of cannabis is harming America. By not offering an alternative to alcohol, a safer alternative, our government is killing and harming us everyday it keeps cannabis illegal. Millions of people use marijuana in America everyday and if it were so damn dangerous why are our ER’s not filled to the brim with marijuana abusers? But we do fill our ER’s and graveyards with alcohol abusers. It is time to listen to science and ignore our alcohol industry influenced government. It seems our government wants to kill us rather than fess up to common sense. 70 years of lies have killed enough of our sons and daughters and we need to tell our government to back off in no uncertain terms. Laws are fine if they protect us but marijuana prohibition is harming us and killing us by forcing us to use a more dangerous substance when a much safer substance is readily available. That is protecting us?

  4. Alcohol, tobacco cigarettes, heck even energy drinks will kill you!
    All 3 perfectly legal.

    Cannabis — no recorded deaths….ever. Illegal.

    WTF, America?

  5. Come on folks – Sign with me!

    “No stems or seeds that we don`t need-The Government Cleans & Rolls my Weed !”
    They KNOW and Have known for years that there is medical benefit from Cannabis, They are hypocrites!

  6. I have pain everyday form different things in my body and could sue something that would be SAFE so how come you have the right to make me suffer and not help me???????

  7. …just one of many reasons we call it Uncle Scam. Pot prohibition was never anything but a racially motivated revenue scam for greedy law enforcement agencies, prisons for profit, and a fraudulent judicial system, crooked cops using the law to steal from the public.

  8. If you ate twinkies or any other junk food for that matter as often as a smoker smokes cigs, they would kill you very fast possibly faster then cigs. And we feed this shit to our kids . I believe Cannabis was the burning bush. I know, kind of random.

  9. The fact that Cannabis is THEE most medicinal plant that grows on this planet in ONE of the factors against it..the fact that it produces THEE cleanest burning FUELS we would be burning is another factor against it (you know BIG PHARMA and BIG OIL NEED each other and Cannabis Hemp is going to cost them TRILLIONS..and the FOOD and FIBER from this GIFT FROM GOD is second to none as well..it is THEE most important plant that grows on this PLANET people..THATS why the greedy criminals have kept this plant the DEVILS WEED.

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