Home Culture The Federal Government Has Been Supplying Medical Marijuana for Decades

The Federal Government Has Been Supplying Medical Marijuana for Decades


This came as a shock to me and I’m sure it’s a shock to many of you – the federal government have been supplying a very limited number of individuals with marijuana since 1978.

It all started when a man named Robert Randall filed a lawsuit against multiple federal agencies including the FDA. DEA, National Institute of Drug Abuse, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Education and Welfare.

Randall, affected by glaucoma, won the lawsuit by using the Common Law doctrine of necessity to fight charges of cultivation, claiming that the marijuana was medically necessary. In what was probably a shock to many back in the 70s, Randall not only won, but inspired a program that would go on to help 30 people in total during the life of the program.

In 1978, the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Study program was born. At first, the program was limited to only Randall – but it wasn’t long before there were other people petitioning to be accepted into the program.

While at the peak of the program there were 30 participants, many of them were approved with an HIV Positive diagnosis and while the marijuana helped with symptoms it could not cure the disease.

Other patients were diagnosed with glaucoma, multiple sclerosis (M.S.), nail-patella syndrome and a rare bone disorder, though there may be other conditions of deceased whose records are long gone.

The program continued on for years, closing its doors 1992 when the G.H.W. Bush administration took over and imposed a tough on crime and drugs stance. According to the public health authorities, there was no scientific value to the program.

Only four of the patients receiving federally cultivated and distributed marijuana are still alive – but they are also still getting their medication for free to this day. The fact that these people are still living – and living well considering the medical conditions they are faced with – should be proof that marijuana is medicine.

People with glaucoma who can still see 30+ years after being diagnosed – all thanks to a single plant!

Each patient was prescribed a different amount of marijuana – between 4 and 9 ounces per month.

“The United States federal government has been supplying me 10 marijuana cigarettes per day for almost 33 years, and in the same vein arresting people for possessing marijuana they give me for medical use,” said Rosenfeld, who began receiving medical cannabis under this program in 1982.

If the government was okay with the settlement and the program back then, why have we been entertaining this war on drugs for so many years?

If the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Study program had been taken seriously back then, with more actual studying being done, we may know much more about marijuana than we do now.

With 23 states providing a medical marijuana program, 4 offering recreational marijuana, perhaps it is time we resurrected this forgotten program.


  1. Its all because of family orientated people being against the differences of others. Families and religious people have put their beliefs before the overall balance within nature and on planet earth. Humanity is putting itself in a very grave position regarding its bigotry, persecution and oppression of ambiguous matters. What a person does with their life, as long as there is no harm being done to others, should be delt with on a case by case basis, instead of getting ugly about so many things to the point where we are cutting off everyone’s legs just because of the risk of someones leg getting broken…..ridiculous.