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There was no defense in federal court for medical marijuana

When my 1st son Trevor was dying of bone cancer, his oncologist risked her career to teach me the benefits of medicinal marijuana. Little Trevor was in tremendous pain and had 650 mg of morphine per hour pumping into his emaciated body through a catheter in his chest. The hospital pharmacist told me it was the most morphine he had ever dispensed. He was amazed Trevie was alive. That much morphine would normally cause an overdose and death. The same month Trevor was diagnosed,  at age eight, with inoperable osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer), I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.Trevor was initially diagnosed at 15 months with bi-lateral retinoblastoma, (eye cancer). He then had both eyes removed, was totally blind and went through radiation, chemotherapy and many subsequent surgeries. He hung in there against all odds as his doctor had told us he was terminal.

Finally, at age four he went into remission for four years. We were so happy that he seemed fully recovered and was attending a regular elementary school that had an excellent teacher for the visually impaired. He did so well, he surpassed his sighted classmates in reading and cognitive skills, even though he read in Braille. He was a happy, well adjusted, loving, fun, smart and adventurous child. He taught me and everyone who knew him about love, courage and acceptance. I was honored to be his Mother.

When the cancer came back with a vengeance at age eight we were devastated. I knew this was the last of his life. His third time being diagnosed as terminal, this time with inoperable bone cancer from the radiation he had received years before. Even with the inordinately high dose of morphine Trevie was still not only in excruciating pain, his bowels had shut down and he couldn’t eat yet he was very hungry. My darling boy was miserable. This went on for months. It took Trevor nine+ months to die as he was waiting for his sister to be born.

His amazing and courageous doctor suggested medical marijuana to alleviate his worst symptoms. Because this was the mid eighties, the were no medical marijuana laws other than it was a schedule 1 drug, up there with heroin…..still is. She taught me how to make healing butter for my baby. Once she did, everything changed for Trevor. He was able to eat all of his favorite foods because his digestive track was once again working, he could sleep, he was happy, laughing and joking with visitors. He was relaxed and lucid. The medical marijuana tinctures and butter worked well with the morphine. I was and am so grateful to that doctor. The difference was remarkable.

Trevor died in my arms seventeen days after his little sister was born. I knew he hung in there for me so I would have my baby girl to love and care for. He broke every record there had ever been for survival. He had a strong will to live.

This brings me to the crux of this story. After witnessing the seemingly miraculous effects of medical marijuana on my own dying child, I became a believer. In 2010 I started a medical marijuana collective with ten patients who have valid prescriptions for a variety of things, including cancer, AIDS and heart disease. I received my prescription from my then psychologist who had diagnosed me with PTSD and hypervigilance as a result of all that happened with Trevor for those many years.

Medical marijuana mitigated those symptoms as well as many others. i was able to sleep, took care of any headaches, tummy aches, menstrual cramps and any anxiety.It was literally the only medicine I used.

We made sure to stay within the letter of the law. At that time, the State of California had a web site dedicated to marijuana collectives. It stated  that as long as the collective had no more than ten people, all with valid prescriptions and kept your plant count under 100, you would be safe from any Federal scrutiny or prosecution. Our plant count was eighty eight.Nevertheless, on September 10, 2010, we were raided by the DEA, FBI, Dept. of the Treasury and the local (El Dorado) sheriffs dept.. 

They disregarded our State legal status and took the entire garden. They didn’t destroy the plants but carefully stacked them in the back of a large truck. A fully ripe crop that we were already in the process of harvesting. This was no accident. Later the Feds would say they “lost” all of the evidence.

They filed forfeiture on my family home and property in Nevada County as well as the property where  the collective grew. I lost everything. They prosecuted only me and my 2nd and youngest son. No one else in the collective. Me, because I was the owner and my son to further harm and control me. After five years of fighting for what we knew was right, the evil Feds won. There was no defense in federal court for medical marijuana. We were not allowed to even use the word or mention that it was legal in California.

We were both coerced into taking pleas to things we didn’t do or face 20 or more years in prison. Both first offenses and  victimless but still went to prison. Me for 5.5 years and my son for 5 years. We were in there with violent gangs, murderers, thieves, child molesters and kidnappers. All while people on the outside, including former speaker of the House John Boehner, were and still are making tens of millions a year doing exactly what we were doing. We are both still on probation. We both still have the government’s boot on our neck.
This failed war on drugs targeted two wonderful people but the ripple effect was far and wide.This fractured my entire family let alone took prescribed medicine from sick people, three of whom have since died from the ailments without their medicine.

We had a lovely canvas that took us decades to complete and the feds took a knife and slashed it to ribbons without a second thought. We’ll survive. We will never be the same, but we’ll survive in spite of the evil that befell us. We should never have had to go through this. This was morally, spiritually, legally and ethically wrong.

Patricia made butters for baked goods, oils and tinctures for people with Hepatitis C, on dialysis, AIDS, high blood pressure and cancer. You can view her full bio here. 

Patricia made butters for baked goods, oils and tinctures for people with Hepatitis C, on dialysis, AIDS, high blood pressure and cancer. You can view her full bio here. 

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