LOS ANGELES – Medical marijuana patient, Todd McCormick, confined to federal prison while appealing his case, reports he is being sent to solitary confinement. According to his mother, Ann McCormick, Todd went to the medical office and requested the pharmaceutical form of marijuana (Marinol) that he had been taking prior to his incarceration.
“The pain in his neck and back has been unbearable lately,” said his worried mother. “Todd has a spinal fusion – the top five vertebrae were fused when he was two-years-old. A tumor had completely eaten the 2nd vertebrae and the old fusion is now literally carving grooves in the base of his skull, prompting severe headaches as well, His left hip stopped growing when he was 9, a result of radiation treatments for childhood cancer. He has severe scoliosis, nerve damage in his upper back, shoulders and neck and severe muscle spasms in his lower back. He has received no medical treatment since January,” said Mrs. McCormick.
One day after Todd requested Marinol, a schedule 3 drug, easily prescribed drug, the feds ordered he be drug tested. When the results came back positive for marijuana, Todd was placed in solitary confinement.
Mrs. McCormick said she believes Todd is being punished unfairly. “If Todd had thought there was a problem, he would have refused the test. He said that they have no baseline test for comparison, as this is the first drug test he has had. He was not tested when he was taken into custody. He said there are no studies on longterm cannabis/Marinol users to determine how the cannibanoids leave the system and as it is stored in fatty tissue it may release erratically.”
Todd is a vegetarian and the prison has simply removed the meat off his plate without replacing the protein source. This has left him severe malnourished. When he is in pain, he loses his appetite and has not been eating lately. This could cause the body to start digesting stored fat.
The concrete room he is in is small with only a bunk with a vinyl mattress and no sheets or pillow. Because of his back and neck problems Todd uses a special shaped and density pillow – which the prison does not allow at all. He did have a regular pillow which he could scrunch to accommodate his neck. Now he does not even have that.
He said there is a 3″x16″ ‘window’ which allows very little light or air. He said the room is oppressively hot and stifling with little fresh air. He said the incident report rating used for his positive cannabinoid test is the same rating they would apply for murder. He must go before a review board, he hopes tomorrow, but is not sure.
He said he found out today that this was not a random drug test, but that he had been placed on a ‘suspect’ list. He believes that was done because of his insistence in the medical office last week for his previously prescribed medication.
Steve Kubby, National Director
(530) 386-0777 (Working Press Only – Please)