TAMPA (FOX 13) - You know the federal government bans marijuana, and that a medical marijuana referendum in Florida failed last year. But you may not know that the U.S. government still provides marijuana to people in Florida.
It all started in with a man named Bob Randall, who successfully argued for medical marijuana in court and received it as part of a legal settlement.
In 1978, the United States started the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program. It provides medicinal marijuana to people with serious health problems for life.
While the George H.W. Bush administration closed enrollment in 1992, people in this program are still receiving monthly shipments.
The FDA would not say how many people who joined this program are still living. We found records leading to four, including two people in Florida: Irvin Rosenfeld and Elvy Musikka.
"The United States federal government has been supplying me 10 marijuana cigarettes per day for almost 33 years, and in the same vein arresting people for possessing marijuana they give me for medical use," said Rosenfeld, who began receiving medical cannabis under this program in 1982.
The marijuana is grown in a secured facility at the University of Mississippi.
Rosenfeld uses it to treat a rare bone tumor disorder. Musikka uses it to treat glaucoma, and has for the past 27 years.
They both receive a tin of marijuana each month, and are instructed to use 10 marijuana cigarettes a day. They both say it works for them and that they've been stopped by law enforcement officers who are unaware of their legal right to use and possess it.
They also say that many federal lawmakers are unaware of the Compassionate IND.
"They're always surprised -- didn't know the government ever supplied anybody," added Mussika.