US Government Medical Cannabis Tins

In 1976, mild mannered college professor Robert Randall came home to his apartment and found his Cannabis (marijuana) plants, which he used to treat his glaucoma, had been taken by the Washington, DC police. This was the beginning of a long legal battle against the federal government that resulted in his legal access to federally grown marijuana through the "Compassionate" I.N.D. (Investigational New Drug) Program and a promise by the federal government to provide him medicinal Cannabis for the rest of his life.

That promise was kept – for Robert and several other patients who applied for cannabis through the Compassionate IND program, until the government closed access to additional patients in 1992. The Cannabis is grown in a special compound at the University of Mississippi, rolled into cigarettes in North Carolina, flash frozen and later shipped to the recipient’s doctor or pharmacy in "tins" of 300 "marijuana cigarettes", free of charge. [see attached images]

The government’s Cannabis is also available for research, albeit highly restricted and only allowed for studies about the potential harms of Cannabis use. The government even refused to examine it’s [sic] own I.N.D. patients, prompting Patients Out of Time to initiate the Missoula Chronic Use Study, which found that the government’s Cannabis was safe and effective, but of low quality.

Text Above From: US Federal Cannabis Monopoly

By 1992 the program had grown to 15 patients and the FDA was flooded with patient applications for cannabis (primarily HIV/AIDS patients) so the federal government closed the program. The 15 patients would continue to receive their medication, but approximately 35 patients who had recently just been approved to enter the program were now told they would never receive their medicine. The hundreds of applications waiting for a decision would never even be reviewed.

As of 2008 only 4 patients remain in the IND program and they are Irv Rosenfeld, Elvy Musikka, George McMahon and Barbara Douglass.

Text Above From: Federal IND Patients

In the spring of 2001 in Missoula, MT, four (Irv Rosenfeld, George McMahon, Elvy Musikka, and Barbara Douglass) of the 6 remaining federal medical marijuana patients [at that time] underwent an extensive three-day examination of every system in their body to determine the long term effects of cannabis. Known widely as The Missoula Chronic Use Study, the investigators concluded that after using cannabis therapeutically for a range of 11 to 27 years, with a dose of nine cured ounces per month for Barbara and others, and eleven cured ounces every 26 days for Irv, they were all in fine condition exempting their original illness and the wear and tear of age. We assume that the federal government never bothered to conduct such long-term studies because it did not want to scientifically validate the efficacy of cannabis. A thorough review of the study was published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics and is available here Missoula Chronic Use Study PDF

Conclusions of the Chronic Cannabis Use in the (IND)


1. Cannabis smoking, even of a crude, low-grade product, provides effective symptomatic relief of pain, muscle spasms and intraocular pressure…
2…Cannabis patients are able to reduce or eliminate other prescription medicines and their accompanying side-effects.
3. Clinical Cannabis provides an improved quality of life…
4. Side effect profile of NIDA Cannabis in chronic usage suggests some mild pulminary risk.
5. No malignant deteriation has been observed.
6…no neuropsychological or neurological deteriation has been observed.
7. No endocrine, hematological, immunological sequelae have been observed.


1. Improvements in U.S. clinical Cannabis…sterilized, potent, organically-grown unfertilized female flower tops…
2…"Compassionate I.N.D." should be reopened and extended…
3…laws amended to provide clinical Cannabis to suitable candidates.

Text Above From: Chronic Use Study

Irvin Rosenfeld recently (2010) authored the book, My Medicine, detailing his journey from being against cannabis, thinking it was "garbage", to convincing the federal government to supply him with cannabis for medical purposes and helping to launch the modern medical cannabis movement. Check out his website for more information: Irvin Rosenfeld

One of the tins pictured here is from George McMahon, the 5th legal medical marijuana recipient in the United States. Since March of 1990, he has been receiving a monthly prescription for medical marijuana from the federal government. From his website George McMahon

Images of cannabis tins from Antique Cannabis Book

US Government Medical Cannabis Tin Label Up Close2.JPG
US Government Medical Cannabis Tin.jpg
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George McMahon US Government Issued Cannabis Tin.jpeg
Irv Rosenfeld US Government Medical Cannabis Tin.jpg
Irv Rosenfeld US Government Medical Cannabis Tin with Prescribed Dose.jpg