FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WARRANT ISSUED FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA PATIENT TODD McCORMICK;
McCORMICK TO SURRENDER TOMORROW; HEARING AT 2:00 PM
April 2, 1998, LOS ANGELES. A federal warrant for the arrest of Todd McCormick was issued today. Around 2:30 this afternoon, seven U.S. Marshals entered Todd McCormick’s house from an open back door, searched the house, but found him not at home. The Marshals waited an additional hour, and then left.
Meanwhile, Todd McCormick’s attorney arranged with the federal authorities for McCormick to turn himself in tomorrow morning, Friday, April 3, 1998, and appear before Federal Magistrate Judge McMahon at 2:00 PM.
A press conference will be held directly outside the old federal courthouse as soon as the 2:00 hearing is completed. If McCormick is returned to federal custody, his attorney will meet the press to explain the outcome of the hearing. If Judge McMahon permits McCormick to remain on bail, both McCormick and his attorney will meet the press.
McCormick, who had cancer nine times before he was ten, is accused of failing a urine test, which he has taken (and passed) several times each week since his release on bail in mid-August 1997. The federal government claims a urine sample taken some time in March revealed traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
"That’s not surprising," said Peter McWilliams, McCormick’s publisher, "Todd took legally prescribed Marinol® for the first half of March. Marinol® is a powerful synthetic form of TCH. For someone to continue to give positive THC results less than two weeks after stopping Marinol® is not uncommon."
McCormick was ordered not to use Marinol® by Judge McMahon on March 17, 1998. For two weeks prior to that, McCormick was prescribed high doses of the medication by his physician.
McCormick is facing life imprisonment for cultivating medical marijuana, legal under California law for patients since the passage of Proposition 215. While the federal government has taken only civil action against buyer’s clubs that openly sell marijuana as well as grow it, McCormick—a longtime medical marijuana advocate—is obviously being treated quite differently.