CANCER PATIENT MEDICAL MARIJUANA USER TODD McCORMICK CONTINUES TO BE HELD BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES WITHOUT A HEARING.
COMPLETE UPDATE—FOUR IMPORTANT NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS
RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH TODD McCORMICK FROM FEDERAL CUSTODY NOW AVAILABLEhttp://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/toc.htm
THIS IS AVAILABLE FOR USE BY ALL MEDIA, IN WHOLE OR PART, WITHOUT FURTHER PERMISSION OR NEED TO CREDIT
"FREE TODD McCORMICK" RALLY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, APRIL 13, 1997, 6:30 PM (sharp) AT THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ON MAIN STREET NEAR TEMPLE.
Scheduled to speak are McCormick’s mother, Ann McCormick, who is flying out from Rhode Island for this event and to visit her son; Dennis Peron, Republican candidate for Governor; and Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."
RESULTS OF TODD McCORMICK’S MARCH 31, 1998, DRUG TEST: NEGATIVE
The results of the urine sample taken from McCormick on March 31, 1998, have been released by the federal government: negative. The sample was given two days BEFORE the warrant for his arrest was issued. The results of this test—that prove McCormick had, indeed, stopped using Marinol®--were not revealed at McCormick’s non-hearing on April 3, 1998.
CANCER PATIENT TODD McCORMICK IN SUCH FRAGILE CONDITION, HE IS TRANSFERRED TO THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD
Even a physician, a physician’s assistant, and a psychologist—all on the federal government’s payroll—agree: Todd McCormick is in bad shape. McCormick has been prescribed and is being given an anxiety and pain-relieving medication, in addition to a pain-relieving medication. He has been moved to the medical-psychiatric section of the federal holding facility where he can get better—although pathetically substandard—medical care.
For fifteen years—from the time he was twelve—McCormick has successfully treated his intense cancer-induced pain and, secondarily, his clinical depression with medical marijuana. This was all under the care and with the approval of a long list of physicians. In July 1997, the DEA arrested McCormick on medical marijuana cultivation charges and took away the medicine that uniquely treated McCormick’s conditions—medical marijuana.
Since then, he has deteriorated physically and mentally. He has lost a considerable amount of weight. The constant pain causes a low-level nausea that makes eating difficult and sometimes impossible. The depression has been grinding. After seven months of torment, in late February 1998, McCormick was finally persuaded to try Marinol®--a prescription form of THC, an active ingredient of medical marijuana.
To McCormick’s delight, the Marinol® seemed to be working—not as well as his medication of choice, but a noticeable improvement, "Todd started to become himself again," said his publisher Peter McWilliams. Then, only two weeks after starting the Marinol®, the federal government ordered McCormick to stop taking not only his legally prescribed Marinol®, but also hemp seed oil and other hemp seed nutritional products that McCormick uses as part of his anti-cancer diet.
The return of the physical pain when he was forced off Marinol® triggered a new level of emotional pain. "They’re trying to kill me," McCormick said as he spiraled into depression. "They take away my medicine, they take away my food. They want me to get cancer again and die. Then I won’t be any trouble to them any more." He spent his time contemplating the rest of his life in pain in a federal prison—all for treating his illness with a plant he grew himself, in accordance with California law.
While he was in this fragile condition, two weeks later, the government issued a warrant for the arrest of Todd McCormick. His urine, it seemed, had shown the presence of THC. This was fully expected. The powerful synthetic THC, Marinol®, McCormick had been legally taking only days before the tests was still in his body.
To top that off, the witness that could have vindicated this scientific fact was not called by the prosecution, as required by law. So McCormick—who gave himself up at the precise time he agreed to—was sent to prison for the government’s error.
McCormick was "processed" (strip-searched and given prison uniforms) in a room with a leaking sewage pipe. The floor, on which McCormick had to walk barefoot, was covered with human urine and excrement. McCormick was not allowed to bring the special orthopedic pillow he uses to support his head—his top five vertebra were fused together during cancer treatment when he was two years old. Inside federal prison, he was told that there were "no more pillows," not of any kind.
In the medical-psychiatric ward he shivers in the flimsy cotton federal detention uniform—the prison is kept inhumanly cold 24 hours a day. The cold creates muscle cramping, that creases pain, which thrusts McCormick deeper into despair.