History of Patients Out of Time
The first five patients in the US who received their cannabis medicine from the federal government were featured speakers at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) annual conference held in Washington, DC in 1990. The prime movers of that conference were two members of its Board of Directors, Al Byrne and Mary Lynn Mathre, RN. A fellow member of the Board made a call to a friend at C-Span, the local civic orientated TV channel that is broadcast nationwide, suggesting this conference was worthy of its attention. They agreed and broadcast the entire conference live and repeated the entire program on several occasions.
Forty thousand phone calls poured into the NORML offices that month. The patients had put a new face on marijuana. These were not the stoner hippies so often portrayed in the press, but men and women with gray hair, soft words and serious illnesses. They were everybody’s dad, grandmother or son and the US government provided them with their medicine. The callers were from all over the country, supportive, and wanted to know more about "medical marijuana."