Elvy Musikka!? Who she is, and why you should know who she is if you consume medical cannabis!
Elvy Musikka resides in Eugene, Oregon, where she is close to her son and his family in a quaint downtown apartment. She lives near an abundance of stores and restaurants in a place with small town energy that makes you feel right at home. Here we are, in a recreational state about to unveil to many in the community and industry of cannabis, a clandestine aspect of our United States Federal Government. A subject of which information has been squelched, scenarios altered for secrecy, and an appearance of cover ups galore as… Elvy has been receiving free medical cannabis for 28 years, from (shhhhhhh) Uncle Sam!
Elvy, along with Irvin Rosenfeld are part of the Compassionate Care Investigational New Drug Program, also known in short as: Compassionate IND. First started in 1976, it is a United States Federal Government-run program that allowed a limited number of patients to use medical cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. The program is not available to any new patients, as it was dissolved in 1992 under the jurisdiction of President George W. Bush. During its time, they had about 30 participants at its peak, and upon closure they had 13 active participants. Twenty-eight patients sadly didn’t make the active participant level as their applications did not make the cut-off date of the federal program. It is administered by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and at this time there are four known surviving patients who were grandfathered into the program.
How did this secret program get initiated into our Federal Government? The Compassionate Care Investigational New Drug Study program began after Robert C. Randall filed a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Robert was afflicted with glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease and had made a wise calculative move to make reference to the “Common Law doctrine of necessity” to argue against charges of cannabis cultivation because it was deemed a medical necessity. This is the case of United States verses Robert Randall in 1976. After the trial and presentation of evidence on November 24th, 1976, Federal Judge James Washington ruled in Randall’s favor in a major landmark case. The first medical cannabis prescription in the United States since the 1930’s was written, and Robert headed over to the local pharmacy to fill his prescription.
The second person to be admitted to the IND Program was Irvin Rosenfeld back in 1982. Irvin has a rare degenerative bone disease from a very young age and was in his freshman year at college when he tried cannabis. He discovered by smoking cannabis he was able to sit for more than 30 minutes, which was virtually an impossible feat with his disease. With an analytical mind and many family members who were in the medical field, he comprised his own clinical trial on himself while in college. His data collected was scientific and conclusive of the dynamic effects of the cannabinoids on his body. For the past 34 years, Irvin has had no tumors develop in his body and his continuing healthy life is an inspiration.
Both Elvy and Irvin are able to see their patient care physician during the year and receive their Federal supply of Mississippi grown cannabis. The other two patients Barbara Douglas and George McMahon are eligible to receive their medicine, but are not able to find a physician who would be responsible for their patient care. They would require a Doctor whom they would see twice a year and sign up to distribute the Federally approved prescription. Speaking of the prescription, the cannabis medicine is rolled into joints and packed into a metal canister in increments of 300.
Interestingly, after the cannabis was harvested in Mississippi, it was transported to Raleigh, North Carolina and freeze dried. A canister of joints that Elvy recently received was dated from 2009. In most cases, when tested it was shown to have a THC content of 3% to 5%. So for those of you, who complain about your buds not being fresh, please don’t consider Government grown buds in the future as it appears the cultivators at Ole’ Miss could use some help from Master Grower Ed Rosenthal, as well as bud care tips from the local dispensary budtender!
Elvy Musikka, who was the third person to be included in the IND Program was born in Columbia, came to the U.S. and married in the late 1960’s. She has two children who are now grown. Her daughter resides in Austin, Texas, and her son in Eugene, Oregon. She is a musician with an album as we found she is always comfortable about breaking out in song! When we got a hold of her, I introduced myself to request a time to meet to interview her exclusively for Edibles List Magazine. A date was arranged and I was looking forward to bring to light this incredulous aspect of Federal Government prescribed cannabis, which seems almost an oxymoronic situation!
Why doesn’t everyone know about this?! A revelation, there are factors that have worked against the general public being aware of IND program. For instance, the first doctor for Robert Randall who was arranged to provide his patient care was suddenly offered a large grant for a government research project. Offers like this don’t come along for research physicians and the doctor left the IND Program, which left Randall high and dry. Musikka has had scrutiny, arrest, and a litany of harassments occur. As for Irvin, he has a different outlook, that his life is an open book and he is just seeking to receive his medicine and if they need to watch him then go right ahead.
While spending time researching Elvy’s medical cannabis life career, I was curious, excited and looking forward to bring forth this incredible story. Upon arriving and sharing pleasantries at her apartment, one is able to see her life amongst the art, books and photographs decorating her home. We walked on a balmy summer night to a cozy restaurant close by with a patio garden lush with flowering foliage. The company and conversation was easy flowing and filled with enrapturing conversation. Together, we found ourselves breaking out in song from the Beatles, to the Eagles, and her positive uplifting spirit was charming.
Medically at this time, Elvy is feeling great for being a spry 77 years young. Her sight in her right eye is diminished but there is enough in her left eye to know how to order a cocktail before dinner. Elvy chose a Lavender Lemon Cocktail with Rocks on the Rim to start the dinner conversation. Because of a debilitating case of glaucoma, an operation was necessary in the early 80’s which left her right eye clinically blind with no hope to regenerate her eye-sight. Elvy felt she needed to find something to save what sight she had remaining. Ever since she first started smoking cannabis in 1975, she has been comfortable with infusing. She found it helped her keep balanced with her daily life and little did she know at the time it was helping her eye sight keep intact as well. She began growing at her home in Florida and definitely felt the benefits.
Elvy first heard about the program after she was arrested for growing cannabis and she received a call from Robert Randall in mid-1988. He introduced himself and shared with Elvy how their debilitating medical condition of glaucoma was so similar and how he was receiving medical cannabis from the U.S. Federal Government. She decided to sue to have access to the IND program and won, so on November 17th, 1988, Elvy went to her local pharmacy to fill her prescription for 320 marijuana cigarettes every month.
She speaks each year at HempFest, the festival held in Seattle, Washington now running twenty years. With attendance at over 120,000 hemp/cannabis friendly supporters, it is one of the largest gatherings in the U.S. celebration of the culture and lifestyle of cannabis. Of course to those in attendance, Elvy is a treasured icon and heralded by all once she graces the stage. She is known to break out in song, as she does consider herself a musician. She autographed her album for us when we were spending time in her apartment in Eugene, Oregon. Elvy is also part of Patients Out Of Time, a non-profit organization that focuses on education about the medical attributes of cannabis with continuing education accredited classes. She speaks at least once a year to appreciative nurses, doctors and other interested parties.
Now that she resides in Oregon, she has attempted to find a new Doctor to oversee her IND Program needs, but has been unable to do so. She travels to Florida twice a year to see her physician and pick up her prescription. On her way back to Oregon, she hand-carries her precious canisters of medicine and the paperwork to back up any scrutiny that arises.
Elvy would like for us to realize that we all have the power to change the laws, as for the past 28 years she has lived as an open cannabis consumer. But on the other hand, she has had her phone tapped and her life scrutinized for her actions. Is she breaking the law? Absolutely not! But she has been harassed, scrutinized, arrested and threatened. At this time in her life, Elvy would like acceptance and true freedom from this scrutiny. Musikka says her glaucoma is under control and reaffirms that her consumption of cannabis is proof that it works as a medicine. No other pharmaceuticals or aspirin are available in her home as medical cannabis does it all for her.
Musikka considers herself a pioneer, patient and activist. She is passionate that prohibition should not be continued. Elvy Musikka is researching on the country of Uruguay, where there are no rules or restriction on the growth, distribution or consumption of cannabis. Yes, Elvy is done with America and it’s hypocrisy of medical cannabis by the U.S. Federal Government.
Advocates for legalizing cannabis either for medical or recreational purposes say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation’s 40-year war on drugs maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it. This is hypocrisy to the American people. While we have 200,000 people in Federal U.S. Prisons for simple possession of cannabis, yet the same Federal Government has been supplying it to needy medical patients for the past 40 years, starting with Robert Randall who passed away in 2001. He was an amazing visionary who we need to honor and acknowledge.
As we head into the home stretch of the November Election, there are many states that have initiatives set on the ballots for the voting public to make their decision on. With this realization of the shadows of insulting deceit that patients have had to endure through the years with the continuing denial of legalization of cannabis through our countries leaders. May we all share this story and let everyone know that the U.S. Federal Government has truly been holding back from the suffering citizens a true natural medicine. We should not feel that we need to hide or infuse on the down low and feel the scrutiny of judgmental small minded individuals. The Compassionate Care IND Program should have never been discontinued, just as prohibition should have never been passed back in the 1930’s.
Government officials say there is no contradiction. The program is no longer accepting new patients, and public health authorities have concluded that “there was no scientific medical value to cannabis,” as Steven Gust of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse was quoted stating to The Associated Press. What are we, as concerned citizens, missing in this picture? Is this an entity speaking from both sides of their mouth? Do they not know what they are standing for as a country of extreme contradictions? Let us hope that the elections bring balance of understanding and access.
If you recall 13 people were receiving Federal Government cannabis. Now, there are four left. Others who were in the program have mostly passed away. Again, two of them who were approved and grandfathered in are still in need of a new physician. To be in the program an attending physician needs to see the patient twice a year to adhere to the stipulations agreed for the Compassionate Care Investigative New Drug Program. . Let’s join together and find a way for Barbara Douglas and George McMahon to once again receive their medicine. A call to action for the following:
- A Physician who has the proper license to practice in the state of Iowa where both George McMahon and Barbara Douglas reside.
- Funds to support physician’s travel expenses to patient’s homes in Iowa, as both George and Barbara are unable to travel at this time.
- Elvy is in need of a new physician as well. If you are licensed in Oregon and close to the Eugene area.
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We deserve secure access to medical and recreational cannabis, and to have the Government discontinue the lies!