Alan Carter McLemore

7 Years -- Medical Marijuana

Alan Carter McLemore, prisoner of the drug war
Alan Carter McLemore, 46, was a practicing attorney in Southeast Texas until arrested in Kountze, Texas, on Feb. 8, 1995, for cultivating marijuana which he used for medicine. He received a 6 1/2 year sentence and has 2 years and 11 months left. He is currently incarcerated in the federal medical facility at Rochester, Minnesota.

At age 9, Alan first exhibited symptoms of what was later diagnosed as severe clinical Depression. He suffers from painful migraines, an extreme eating disorder and drastic mood fluctuations which produce a dysphoria that begs at death's door for relief. At age 18, he discovered that alcohol dulled the pain of his illness.

Intermittently with alcohol, he tried psychological, behavioral and psychiatric means first to deal with the brain chemistry disorder, then to treat the severe alcoholic he had become. His life and law practice were in shambles by the time he descended into terminal alcoholism at age 39.

At that time, he was given some marijuana by a friend. After several weeks of smoking, it dissipated his craving for alcohol altogether. He was further surprised to find that continued smoking, without alcohol, normalized his appetite, stopped his migraines and prevented the mood swings and dysphoria - all for the first time in his life.

In an attempt to find a legal solution, he asked his physician to prescribe Marinol, a synthetic version of the THC found in marijuana. DEA and FDA regulations make Marinol difficult to obtain, and he was only given enough for his most severe headaches. He turned to growing marijuana for the daily medicine he found to work so effectively on his overall condition.

Following his arrest and subsequent inability to eat without medication, he was prescribed Marinol by a psychiatrist at Jefferson County Jail in Beaumont, Texas. His health was restored and maintained for 5 months, until he was transferred in Aug. 1995, to Montgomery County Jail, Conroe, Texas, where his legal Marinol prescription was literally flushed down the toilet by the medical staff there. Since that day, Alan's illness has overtaken him with full force.

The Bureau of Prisons has continually refused to reinstate Alan's prescription. Twice his weight has fallen to 120 lbs. and twice he has been rushed to the Rochester medical facility. The doctors have tried a variety of drugs that either exacerbate his condition, do nothing for his illness or produce intolerable side effects rendering him unable to take them.

Because of direct orders from the Bureau of Prisons in Washington D.C., the doctors are unable to prescribe the only medicine that works for Alan -- Marinol. The government is withholding his medication for purely political reasons. Alan's needless suffering continues.

Since the medical staff at Rochester can do no more for Alan, he is awaiting transfer. We will post his new address as soon as he has one.