Weedists: Meet Ken Unger
“Weedists are the people who are out there fighting the good fight and these are their stories.”
Kenneth Unger is a disabled Navy veteran that suffered 10 years of prescribed morphine addiction that he describes as ‘a living hell’. Desperate for relief from his addiction and its side effects, he gave marijuana a chance to relieve his pain. When it worked, Ken began growing his own medicine, both to relieve costs and avoid criminal dealers with low quality medicine. On September 9th, 2010, Mr. Unger was arrested and charged with cultivation. He was automatically charged with distribution, as is often the case in parts of the mid-west without medical marijuana laws.
Weedist had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Unger about his story and his court case.
Well, First of all, how has your case been going?
Since I needed a double bypass, the next trial date is Nov 13th. My health problems have been slowing their attempts to throw me in jail. I’m charged with growing and owning a bong. I was looking at 15 years until the DA found out that I was going to fight the charges. About 3 weeks later the DA added sales charges and refuses to deal.
In your opinion, why is marijuana a better medicine than the traditional prescribed medication?
I spent something close to 10 years hooked on Morphine for pain control. I spent my days sick and tired, throwing up more then once a day, from my use of the medication the VA doctors gave me to treat the back pain. I decided I couldn’t live like that. I got a hold of medical grade marijuana, and enjoyed the pain relief without side effects. I was able to lose weight; me and my wife started walking around the block. Marijuana did not totally relieve the pain, but good enough for me to deal with it.
Have you received any legal assistance from pro-marijuana organizations like NORML?
Yes I am a member of NORML and so is my lawyer. I’m a member of a few medical marijuana groups on the net as well.
Do you or your lawyer have a website I could direct people to for donations to your legal struggle?
I had one through Green Aid, however they wanted me to fire my lawyer because he wouldn’t go on the radio with them. They paid about half of what is owed, my lawyer told me he would get the rest and for me not worry about it. They did save my ass, Green Aid that is, because I had no idea what I was going to do. We live on my VA benefits because I’m 100% disabled.
Has the prosecution acknowledged any scientific evidence about the medicinal benefits of cannabis?
Not at all. I’m not allowed to even muddy the waters with my health problems. Despite them being the only reason I grew.
What does your lawyer say about their refusal to look at this evidence?
The law here in Missouri is written so they don’t have to. Here, marijuana has no medical use so they don’t have worry about it at all. That’s why I’m on the net, because to the jury it does matter.
I know that here in Colorado, no jury would convict you, a veteran, for growing medicine that is so much better than the opiates that doctors prescribe. Do you feel there are enough reasonable people out there to expect to be found not guilty?
I don’t know. In 2010, the DA dropped the charges against a man doing about the same thing as me. His name is Kenneth Wells, you can looking him up on stltoday.com. At the same time, well when he found out I was fighting it, the DA added sales charges. My guess is that it will end in a hung jury. But it’s taking a major toll on me.
Can you compare the quality of locally obtained marijuana and your homegrown medicine?
Street stuff and my medicine are like night and day, grapes and apples. It was the best relief I’ve ever known. Most of the local stuff is just the brown from around.
We here at Weedist wish you the best of luck in your ongoing battle to use a healthier medication. We firmly believe you can overcome these legal obstacles.
Here’s hoping it’s over soon. In November there will be a new DA. Keep spreading the word; Marijuana is the best medicine.
Ken Unger, a disabled veteran arrested for trying to free himself from addiction, deserves much better treatment than he is getting. Fellow weedists, please show your support for Mr. Unger in our comment box, as well as on the websites from the links in this page, such as this short article and video from NBC’s KSHB.com.
If you live in Missouri, contact your local public officials from city council members to the prosecution itself, and tell them to drop all charges against Ken Unger. As Mr. Unger said,
Keep spreading the word; Marijuana is the best medicine.