successfully defended marijuana
one of only eight legal medical marijuana users
in the Federal IND Program
Photo: Elvy holds her can that she gets every month
containing 300 IND issued joints.
Living in Florida, Elvy Musikka bought the Reefer Madness
story, hook, line and sinker. As her already bad eyesight
continued to deteriorate, she endured prescription
pharmaceutical drugs which had uncomfortable side effects,
but little effect on her glaucoma. Turning to ever more
desperate measures, Elvy agreed to undergo a risky surgery
on her better, right eye. The operation left her blinded in
Only then did she consider suggestions to try using
marijuana to reduce the buildup of inner eye pressure. To
her grudging surprise, she found that it seemed to work.
Elvy discussed the effect with her doctor, and did her
own experiments by eating marijuana brownies before certain
visits to the doctor. His measurements of her eye pressure
verified that the herb did, indeed, have the effect of
lowering the pressure. Elvy began to grow her own plants and
found that she was good at it; good enough to attract the
attention of the police, who arrested her. She argued
medical necessity and the judge agreed to hear the
testimony. At this point Elvy learned that the doctors had
never recorded her observations about marijuana, leaving her
to rely on the testimony of expert witnesses and her new
physician, who agreed that nothing else had been effective
and that marijuana made a measurable difference in her eye
The judge ruled in her favor, stating that Elvy "would
have to be insane" to forego the use of medical marijuana.
She was placed on the federal IND program, which provided
legal marijuana for a few patients until it was shut down
under the Bush administration in 1992. Elvy continues to
receive government prepared marijuana cigarettes each month.
Even though they are not as good as the medicine she grew
herself, Elvy's vision has improved due to her steady use of
Said Elvy, "How can I have a right to medicine but other
patients not have the same right? I didn't lose my eyesight
to glaucoma, I lost it to ignorance."
Elvy is now an ardent and inspiring spokesperson for