Ken and Barbara Jenks, AIDS activists, medical marijuana patient

Florida, AIDS patients, IND recipients, medical marijuana activists.

Ken Jenks, who died June 06, 1992, was a hemophiliac who contracted AIDS/HIV from a blood transfusion and unknowingly transmitted it to his wife, Barbara, in 1980, before the risks of the disease were fully known.

They discovered that marijuana eased his symptoms and were eventually arrested for growing two marijuana plants and fought to become among the handful of patients allowed access to the US government’s medicinal cannabis program. Since their condition was not caused by sexual activity and they were therefore deemed not to be responsible for their condition, after being arrested and fighting a long legal battle, they became the first AIDS patients to receive federal medical marijuana in the IND program.

Their outspoken activism and advocacy led to an effort to get hundreds of patients to apply to the program, netting more than 300 qualified people. More than 30 of these were approved to receive federal medical marijuana in 1992 when John Mason, under president George Bush senior, cut off the program to new applicants, disallowed all new recipients from receiving their medicine and kept only the dozen or so people who had been grandfathered into the program in the 1980s.

Mason and Bush are responsible for the tortuous pain and suffering endured by thousands of Americans who have been deprived access to the IND program, as well as to the millions of Americans who were not eligible for the program but could find medical relief from marijuana they would grow or purchase for themselves. They could also be responsible for the deaths of Ken and Barbara, who lost the will to live soon after the program was shut down and succumbed to the ravages of AIDS. At the time they were in the program, around 1991, there were 14 people in the USA who received a federal IND prescription for cannabis. Barbara Jenks died in 1992 and Ken died in 1993. Today there are seven people left who receive this US government cannabis.


Kenneth L. JENKS and Barbara J. Jenks, Appellants, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.

No. 90-2462.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District.

June 18, 1991.

Defendants were convicted in the Circuit Court, Bay County, Clinton Foster, J., of cultivating cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia, and they appealed. The District Court of Appeal, Ervin, J., held that:

(1) statute defining cannabis as Schedule I substance did not preclude defense of medical necessity, and

(2) defendants established medical necessity defense.



CBS NEWS – 60 MINUTES, Volume XXIV, Number 11

JENKS v STATE of Florida

Medical Marijuana Case Law In Florida


Author, cannabis expert witness, journalist, artist


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