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The Story of Alice O'Leary-Randall & Robert Randall

  • Broadcast in Higher Education
Adela Wisdom for Congress

Adela Wisdom for Congress


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The Story of Alice O'Leary-Randall & Robert Randall. -

Once called “First Lady of the medical marijuana movement,” Alice O’Leary-Randall communicates her singular perspective on the emotional and long-running movement to legalize marijuana as medicine. She was literally there at the start. 

For two decades, she and her husband, Robert C. Randall, were advocates for medical access to marijuana. Robert, who had advanced glaucoma at a young age, discovered that he actually saw better after smoking pot. In 1976 he became the first U.S. citizen to have marijuana prescribed for a medical condition. Their personal battle is chronicled in their memoir, the highly respected Marijuana RX: The Patients’ Fight for Medicinal Pot.

In the late 1970s Alice and Robert helped enact 35 state laws that recognized marijuana's medical value and attempted to establish state-sponsored research programs (the federal government thwarted these efforts). In 1980 they founded the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT), the first non-profit organization dedicated solely to resolving the medical marijuana issue and drafted national legislation that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and had 110 co-sponsors. ACT served as the primary plaintiff in the historic DEA hearing on marijuana's medical utility in the mid-1980s. In the '90s, Alice and Robert secured funding from a Chicago-based backer and took the medical marijuana movement to new heights, paving the way for state ballot initiatives that have secured legal medical access to marijuana for citizens of twenty-three states.