Sometime after midnight on a moonlit rural Oregon highway, a state trooper checking a car he had just pulled over found less than an ounce of pot on one passenger: A chatty 72-year-old woman blind in one eye.
She insisted the weed was legal and was approved by the U.S. government.
The trooper and his supervisor were doubtful. But after a series of calls to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency and her physician, the troopers handed her back the card — and her pot.
For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing a handful of patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around. The program grew out of a 1976 court settlement that created the country's first legal pot smoker.
Advocates for legalizing marijuana or treating it as a medicine say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation's 40-year war on drugs — maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it.
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