Robert Randall: Father of the modern med-pot movement.By Dana Larsen
Robert Randall, the first person to receive medical pot from the US government, died of AIDS-related complications on June 2 at his home in Florida. He was 53 years old.
In November, 1976, Randall became the first person in modern US history to obtain legal medical marijuana. Randall suffered from severe glaucoma and treated it with home-grown medicine until he was arrested and prosecuted. Randall demonstrated in court that no other glaucoma drug halted deterioration of his eyesight. He then sued the government, demanding legal access to marijuana.
The feds tried to cut off Randall’s supply in 1978, but he sued and won again. So the government established a special program under which Randall and some other patients were provided with marijuana for medical use. The program was shut down in the 1990’s, but Randall and a half-dozen other patients continued to receive federal buds.
During the late 1970’s, Randall helped push through med-pot research and access laws in over 30 states. Yet due to opposition from the federal government, most of those programs were not enacted.
In 1981, Randall and his wife Alice O’Leary founded the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, a non-profit organization focused on getting legal access to medical pot. Randall told his story in a series of books, the most recent being his autobiography, titled Marijuana Rx: The Patients’ Fight for Medicinal Pot.
Tom Flowers: Horticultural wizard
By Sam Pedro
Tom Flowers, famed author, horticultural wizard and cannabis reform warrior, succumbed to complications of rheumatoid arthritis and passed away on April 1, 2001.
Tom’s fiery passion for plants, marijuana in particular, culminated in three books; The Marijuana Herbal Cook Book, Marijuana Flower Forcing, and his just released: Marijuana Hydro Gardens: the Techno Grow.
Tom used marijuana to help combat the debilitating pain of his disease. Although he suffered with every movement of grinding nerves and bone, he was a fire-ball of inspiration.
When asked about Tom’s incredible energy, Jeff Jones of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club commented that “Tom was very influential in my political pursuits to establish a legal and humane medical marijuana cooperative.”
Tom’s legacy remains in his valued publications and the many lives he has moved.