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LOS ANGELES - Medical marijuana patient, Todd McCormick, confined to
federal prison while appealing his case, reports he is being sent to
solitary confinement. According to his mother, Ann McCormick, Todd went to
the medical office and requested the pharmaceutical form of marijuana
(Marinol) that he had been taking prior to his incarceration.

"The pain in his neck and back has been unbearable lately," said his

"Todd has a spinal fusion - the top five vertebrae were fused when he was
two-years-old. A tumor had completely eaten the 2nd vertebrae and the old
fusion is now literally carving grooves in the base of his skull, prompting
severe headaches as well, His left hip stopped growing when he was 9, a
result of radiation treatments for childhood cancer. He has severe
scoliosis, nerve damage in his upper back, shoulders and neck and severe
muscle spasms in his lower back. He has received no medical treatment since
January," said Mrs. McCormick.

One day after Todd requested Marinol, a schedule 3 drug, easily prescribed
drug, the feds ordered he be drug tested. When the results came back
positive for marijuana, Todd was placed in solitary confinement.

Mrs. McCormick said she believes Todd is being punished unfairly. "If Todd
had thought there was a problem, he would have refused the test. He said
that they have no baseline test for comparison, as this is the first drug
test he has had. He was not tested when he was taken into custody. He said
there are no studies on longterm cannabis/Marinol users to determine how
cannibanoids leave the system and as it is stored in fatty tissue it may
release erratically."

Todd is a vegetarian and the prison has simply removed the meat off his
plate without replacing the protein source. This has left him severe
malnourished. When he is in pain, he loses his appetite and has not been
eating lately. This could cause the body to start digesting stored

The concrete room he is in is small with only a bunk with a vinyl mattress
and no sheets or pillow. Because of his back and neck problems Todd uses a
special shaped and density pillow - which the prison does not allow at all.
He did have a regular pillow which he could scrunch to accommodate his
Now he does not even have that.

He said there is a 3"x16" 'window' which allows very little light or air.
said the room is oppressively hot and stifling with little fresh air. He
said the incident report rating used for his positive cannabinoid test is
the same rating they would apply for murder. He must go before a review
board, he hopes tomorrow, but is not sure.

He said he found out today that this was not a random drug test, but that
had been placed on a 'suspect' list. he believes that was done because of
his insistence in the medical office last week for his previously