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Federal Govt. Grows, Sends Pot to 4 Select U.S. Citizens

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 04, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Would you like to get a package of pot from the government?

If you do, you're out of luck.

There are only a handful of Americans who legally get these "special packages" in the mail. One of them is Elvy Musikka, an Oregon woman who suffers from glaucoma. She's part of a relatively unknown federal program that administers medical marijuana.

Those itching to sign up for the program should be warned: the program is now closed and is no longer accepting new patients. At one point there were 14 Americans enrolled in the program. Only 4 remain.

Does this seem a little contradictory? Some states have legalized medical marijuana. But the federal government has always staunchly kept the drug high on its list of controlled substances.

In fact, the federal government considers weed to be a "Schedule 1" drug, meaning that it has a potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use, and cannot be safely used even under medical supervision.

So why exactly are Musikka and a handful of other Americans getting a Schedule 1 drug from the feds? It's because of a 1976 federal court decision that ordered the Food and Drug Administration to provide Robert Randall with weed. Randall suffered from glaucoma, according to the AP.

The program slowly expanded after the court decision, but was halted under President George H.W. Bush's administration in 1992.

Whatever your stance is on medical marijuana, the fact that the government is providing weed - legally - does seem a bit odd.

And confusing. The fed's pot program is definitely something that proponents of medical marijuana point to. After all, if it's really so dangerous and addictive, why do people get pot from the government at all?

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