Blind, Diabetic, Double-Amputee Dies After Being Evicted for Medical Marijuana Use

Marijuana activist Marc Emery donated a Volcano vaporizer to medical marijuana patient Marilyn Holsten before she died.Marijuana activist Marc Emery donated a Volcano vaporizer to medical marijuana patient Marilyn Holsten before she died.When we talk about who has the best slum landlord stories we now have to mention this tragic case.

Marilyn Holsten was 49 years old and in frail health, suffering from diabetes. She’d had both legs amputated, was almost blind, and received dialysis six hours a day. She lived for eight years at Anavets Senior Citizens Housing Society building at 951 8th Ave E, Vancouver Canada.

Marilyn’s landlord did not like the smell of marijuana, so he gave her an eviction notice. She became very distraught and as a result her health deteriorated rapidly. Eventually, she died of a heart attack this August. Her sister, Moira O’Neil, said Marilyn’s last days on Earth were a living hell.

To cope with her dreadful pain, Marilyn used marijuana. Her only mistake was that she didn’t have the authorization to possess pot. She said that she was overwhelmed by the paperwork to get permission from the government. But she did have a letter from her doctor, Dr. Fraser Norrie, stating that he recommended marijuana use as part of her medical treatment. Dr. Norrie asked Marilyn’s landlord to accept her need to smoke marijuana. In response, Mary McLeod, the administrator of Anavets, said, “While your doctor supports your decision to use marijuana, he has not prescribed it for medicinal purposes,” and that “Marijuana use is still against the law and … as part of your tenancy agreement, you agreed you would not participate in illegal activities.”

Numerous organizations support allowing patients legal access to medical marijuana, including the AIDS Action Council, American Bar Association, American Public Health Association, California Medical Association, National Association of Attorneys General, and several state nurses associations. Public opinion also supports ending the prohibition of medical marijuana. According to a Gallup poll, 73% of Americans are in favor of “making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering.”

Marijuana is an indispensable medicine that helps mitigate chronic pain and stimulates appetite. Patients suffering from cancer, AIDS and other forms of disease greatly benefit from access to marijuana. While the debate over marijuana use for medical purposes has come a long way over the past decade, even in places with medical marijuana laws patients still often face life-threatening discrimination.

A protest memorial is planned on September 2nd in front of the apartment building Marilyn lived in. Hopefully the death of Marilyn Holsten will not be in vain and can be used to help others legitimize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Anthony Papa is the author of 15 To Life and a communications specialist for Drug Policy Alliance.

– Article from The Huffington Post.



  1. Anonymous on

    So, basically you two are free from fault and perfect in every way and able to finger point. Hypocrites!

  2. Anonymous on

    Think about what marijuana meant to somebody in this amount of pain. Both mental and physical.

    Imagine being denied such a resource to the point of having to choose the medicine or shelter. And choosing the medicine.

    Many of us have followed this since day one. I hope it really hits home, as we all freely enjoy our smoke, in whatever corner of the world we are confined to do so.

    The next time that somebody laughs when you bring marijuana reform into a political conversation, remember this is a life and death cause for many.

  3. Reggae on

    Can someone please post the landlords contact info aswell as Mary Mcleod’s info???????

    Lets show these horrible excuses for human beings what happens when you treat people like dirt.