Parrish couple cultivated medical marijuana for 10 years before this week’s bust

By ELIZABETH JOHNSON — ejohnson@bradenton.com

 

MANATEE — For 10 years, Cathy Jordan and her husband, Robert, have grown her medicine of choice in the backyard at their Parrish home.

Cathy Jordan began regularly smoking cannabis to curb her symptoms since 1989, three years after she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, reducing her pharmaceutical medications from nine to one. Jordan, like most people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), was expected to live three to five years with the condition. It’s been 27.

“I’m asking for my right to life,” Cathy Jordan said. “It’s life or death for me. I don’t have a way to live. You can’t just offer people a way to die.”

Her supply of South African Power Plant Plus, a Sativa and Indica blended strain of marijuana, was seized Monday afternoon. Detectives from the Manatee Coun

ty Sheriff’s Special Investigations Division confiscated two mature plants and 21 seedlings after receiving a complaint that marijuana was being grown at the home.

Dave Bristow, sheriff’s office spokesman, said the office rarely deals in cases of medicinal marijuana, and was unsure if the more than 20 plants found was normal. The Jordans say it is.

“It’s not greed, it’s need,” Robert Jordan said. “It takes so long to mature, you have to have some ready to use and some to replace it.”

The Jordans usually grow a crop in the winter to get Cathy Jordan through the summer months. Cathy Jordan starts her morning with a cup of coffee, then one or two rolled joints before having breakfast. She will have another joint after dinner or before bed, depending on how she feels.

The cannabis acts as a muscle relaxer, an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and appetite enhancer. It’s also clears her bronchial tubes of phlegm, which often causes fatal suffocation of people with ALS.

“It is literally saving her life,” Robert Jordan said.

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