Sick man jailed for possessing ‘medical’ marijuana
David Patterson is serving 60 days in prison for marijuana possession. A Minnesota jury noted Patterson’s seven pounds of marijuana and his intent to distribute it. He’s clearly guilty.
But Patterson says his weed is for medicinal purposes. He planned to refine the cannabis into a healing oil to cure his Crohn’s Disease. He tells the judge that his tinctures can cure skin cancer in four days, which sounds wildly opportmistic – but, then, if you had the terrible disease a marijuana rub would be worth a try, no?
He tells the court:
“I’ve got to watch my relatives die when I can’t make medicine for them. I’m not a criminal. It’s crazy that I’ve been forced to act like I am.”
Seems sane. But what is the law on weed in that state?
Legislation passed during the 2014 Minnesota legislative session created a new process allowing seriously ill Minnesotans to use medical cannabis to treat certain conditions. Medical cannabis will not be available via a pharmacy through a prescription from a doctor. Instead, patients with one of the qualifying conditions will be eligible to enroll in a patient registry maintained by the State. Patients on this registry will be able to get medical cannabis directly from one of eight dispensaries set up around the state.
But why can’t you just grow your own and give it to your ill friends? Why is the State in control of what you can put into your own sick body?
It it because you might use it for an illness not on the approved list:
Cancer associated with severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, or cachexia or severe wasting.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy.
Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
Terminal illness, with a life expectancy of less than one year, if the illness or treatment produces severe/chronic pain, nausea or severe vomiting, cachexia or severe wasting.
Patterson is on watch:
He will be on supervised probation for five years. During that time, he is not to use or possess drugs and must submit to random checks.
A reporter friend was once asked by a policeman, why he was ‘picking on him’. My friend replied that he found it hard to relate to an adult who had vowed to uphold every law of the land, however wrong it was. Could you arrest a sick man for possessing a drug he thought would help his condition?
Note: Patterson was arrested recently for having marijuana in a motor vehicle, 10 days after his trial. That case is pending.