Irven Rosenfeld is one of the first people in the United States to receive medical marijuana from the government and he is still pushing for the movement to go national.
At the age of 10, doctors found around 200 tumors on the bones of Rosenfeld. He was told that this disease was degenerative and that it would likely kill him at a young age. He spent most of his time in pain, on a variety of pain medications and severely unhappy.
It was in the early 1970's that he began smoking pot socially. Around the 10th time he smoked pot, he realized that he wasn't feeling the pain. He'd been sitting, playing chess with his friend and there was no pain.
"That's when I realized this illegal drug called marijuana was the only medicine that was doing this for me," Rosenfeld told me.
Rosenfeld showing off his stash to the US Congress in 2005. Image courtesy of Irvin Rosenfeld
In 1977 he met Robert Randall who had received medical marijuana a year prior (the first person to receive it). From there, they partnered up and the push began.
This was, essentially, the beginning of the medical marijuana movement in the United States.
From here, the petitions began and what began as a 13 person trial study became statewide initiative. California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in the early 1990's.
According to Rosenfeld, he's now smoked 135,000 government supplied joints since 1982, roughly ten a day.
"In 1982, Bob Randall and I made a pact," said Rosenfeld. "We were going to teach the entire world about the benefits of medical cannabis. That's what we set out to do, but we haven't won yet for everybody. It's frustrating when the feds keep saying there is no medicinal benefit to cannabis because we know there is. We're living proof that this works."