JANUARY 11, 2011
For three decades the U.S. government has a supplied a successful Florida stock broker with free marijuana as part of a “compassionate” drug program and the enraging details are available in his new book partially titled “How I Convinced the Federal Government to Provide my Marijuana.”A local newspaper has published a profile of the 58-year-old, who regularly smokes his government-issued cannabis in his company’s parking lot, with the eye-catching headline; “South Florida Man Smokes Marijuana At Taxpayers’ Expense.” Since the mid 1970s, Uncle Sam has sent him 300 marijuana cigarettes a month in a tin to manage the pain of a rare medical condition that so far hasn’t negatively affected his career or extracurricular activities like softball and sailing.The free dope is part of a program conducted by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a federal agency that’s determined marijuana abuse has physical risks and negatively affects educational outcomes, job performance and family. However, in the 1970s NIDA launched an Investigational New Drug Compassionate Access Program that supplies certain sick people with taxpayer-funded marijuana. This particular guy, Irvin Rosenfeld, boasts that he’s received about 120,000 joints in the past 29 years.Smoking 10 to 12 marijuana cigarettes a day eases the businessman’s pain and makes his joints more flexible, but incredibly it doesn’t interfere with his work or make him high. It’s still a mystery how he avoids criminal charges since its illegal to possess marijuana in Florida. Though it remains a federal crime, about a dozen states have legalized pot for medical purposes but Florida is not one of them.In fact, various groups have tried unsuccessfully to obtain legislative sponsors to support legalizing marijuana and the movement has only managed to get about 26,000 of the 677,000 signatures required to put the issue on a ballot. Interestingly, the federal government still classifies the drug as a controlled substance with no legitimate medical uses though NIDA has committed $10 millionto study the effects of local movements to legalize medical marijuana.
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