Joe Hart was a friend of mine. A courageous man, a decorated Vietnam vet, a recipient of two Purple Hearts and five Medal of Honors, when I met him he was running the Medical Cannabis Buyers Club in Key West. And he was doing it just down the street from the police station. But Key West being Key West, they pretty much left him alone. They knew he wasn’t a big time dealer, just a guy dealing a little pot, a medical marijuana patient trying keep himself and a few of his friends alive. You see Joe was dying of AIDS. Sure the meds he got from the V.A. helped but the pot relieved his nausea and he was able to eat. Medical marijuana is effective in treating what they call “ wasting away syndrome.” I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anyone with it but believe me it’s harsh. Because they can’t keep any food down they end of looking like concentration camp prisoners. Oh sure, they’ll prescribe them Marinol, these small orange pills containing synthetic THC pills that cost a small fortune. But that’s a cruel hoax perpetrated by the pharmaceutical companies. When you’re nauseous you can’t keep down a handful of pills, plus there’s no way to regulate the dosage the way you can by taking a few puffs of a fat joint of some good bud. Read John Morgan’s book, “ Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. “ With Marinol over 30% of the drug is absorbed by the stomach lining before it goes to the patients bloodstream. Patients say they get completely stoned to the bone and can’t function when all they want is a little relief. Plus it’s expensive. You know the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you be able to grow your own and self medicate. They want you to have to buy your meds from them and pay through the nose.
So anyway, Joe was running the Cannabis Buyers Club out of his small apt and one day there’s a knock at the door. A package is delivered with the daily mail.The return address is a company in Switzerland. When Joe opens it he finds a kilo of marijuana. Soon after there’s another knock at his door and when he answers it 25 state and federal agents swarm in. He told me they took turns kicking him, saying things like “ die faggot.” Sweet, so much for the “ Compassionate Use Act. “ So Joe was arrested for the marijuana. The marijuana he never asked for, the marijuana that was sent to him by a company in Switzerland called Switco. A company that was later described as having ties to “ American Intelligence Community ” ( there’s another one of those damn oxymorons again, oxymorons not to be confused with most of the general U.S. population that’s strung out on oxycontin. ) It seems he wasn’t the only one targeted. Cannabis Buyers Clubs all over the country were sent unsolicited packages of marijuana from Switco. Of course this never made it to the mainstream press but it was reported in High Times Magazine. One of my duties as Associate Director of CAMM was to help patients that had been arrested. Even though we got him top notch legal representation none of that mattered because he died in the V.A. hospital inMiami before he ever went to trial.
Joe is a true American hero read about him and other patient activists : http://www.equalrights4all.org/memorial1.htm