Despite the continued denials from the U.S. federal government — and its absurdly erroneous classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, meaning it by definition has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses — the feds themselves have been giving out free marijuana to a limited group of patients for 30 years.
The little-known government program had grown to close to 30 patients at its peak, but in 1992 stopped accepting any new participants, during the George H.W. Bush Administration.
Activists speculated that happened because of the advent of the HIV/AIDS crisis; with the widespread need of such patients for medicinal cannabis, pot’s medical usefulness could have become uncomfortably obvious to the public at large once hundreds or thousands of people had government permission to use it.
Despite the program not having accepted any new patients for more than 20 years, the four surviving federal medical marijuana patients still get their 300 (stale, low-quality) joints a month, and presumably will until they die. Never mind that it’s only 3.5 percent THC (maybe that’s why the federal government recommends its patients use 10 “marijuana cigarettes” a day!) plus being 10 years old and stale as shit by the time the patients receive it.
The U.S. federal government seems to heap particular scorn upon the idea of marijuana as smoked medicine. Which is mighty odd, when you consider that every patient in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program, underway since 1982, gets 300 joints a month, rolled and ready to smoke!
Even while they’re handing out hundreds of ready-to-smoke joints a month, they put bullshit like this on government websites like this one from the DEA [PDF]:
Specifically, smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science — it is not medicine, and it is not safe.
Seems somebody’s talking out of both sides of their mouth.
Marijuana has currently accepted medical use, even in smoked form. The United States federal government actually prescribes and dispenses smoked medical marijuana — supposedly a dangerous, addictive Schedule I substance — to its own citizens!