Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Mae Nutt Collection

Finding aid created by
KYle Garver, Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Mae Nutt Collection,
Creator: Nutt, Mae.
Inclusive dates: 1978-2002, and undated
Extent: 2 cubic ft. (in 2 boxes, 2 Oversized volumes)
The collection contains biographical materials, awards, scrapbook, flyers, cartoons, marijuana materials, and other sorted materials of an activist for the legalization of marijuana for medical and therapeutic uses.

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 40252, 41630, 67254

Access Restrictions:

Mae Nutt Collection is open for research.


Copyright is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Mae Nutt Collection, Folder # , Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is organized alphabetically and chronologically with biographical materials at the beginning of Box 1.



Mae Nutt (1920-), known as “Grandma Marijuana,” is an advocate for the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) for medical and therapeutic use. Nutt became such a unique advocate after two of her sons, Keith (December 21, 1955-October 20, 1979) and Dana (1958-1967) died from cancer. Keith was able to find relief from violent nausea caused by Cisplatin, a highly toxic form of chemotherapy, only by smoking marijuana.

Mae was frustrated that the one thing that helped give Keith relief was an illegal drug. She began her crusade to legalize the medical use of marijuana before Keith died. On October 10, 1979, the Michigan House voted unanimously to make marijuana available to patients suffering from “life-or sense-threatening” diseases like glaucoma, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Five days later, the Senate agreed. Act No. 125 of the Public Acts of 1979 (“The Michigan Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program”) was signed into law on the day Keith died. A subsequent memorial resolution was adopted by the Senate in Keith’s memory.

Following Keith’s death, Mae began operating a “Green Cross” from the Nutts’ home in Beaverton, Michigan, illegally distributing Keith’s remaining marijuana to those needing it for medical relief. She also learned how to bake or make marijuana brownies, butter and suppositories.

In January 1988, Mae (age 66) and her husband of 35 years, Arnold (age 68), were invited by Robert C. Randall to testify with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Randall was head of the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT) and the first person to receive legal pot from the federal government to relieve his glaucoma symptoms. The Nutts testified before the DEA’s chief administrative law judge, Judge Francis Young, concerning the second appeal to reclassify marijuana from a “hallucinogenic substance” to a “prescription” drug.

Eight months later, Judge Young agreed to change the status of marijuana to that of a prescription drug. The DEA’s administrator, John Lawn, promptly overruled the decision. The case was appealed, and in April 1991 remanded to the DEA for further consideration.

Since then Mae has testified at various hearings. During the 1980s Mae served as ACT’s vice-president. She continues to operate her “Green Cross” and work with cancer victims in Midland Hospital.

In November 1990, the Nutts received The Robert C. Randall Award for Achievement in the Field of Citizen Action, accompanied by a $10,000 check from the Drug Policy Foundation for their efforts in the fight to legalize marijuana for medical uses.

Mae and Arnold’s third son, Mark, currently lives in California.

(This information is from the collection and the Social Security Death Index.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection consists mainly of information documenting marijuana and its medical uses and efforts to legalize the drug for such uses by various people and numerous organizations. Materials include: newsletters, correspondence, newspaper clippings (copies), conference papers, bills, resolutions, videotapes, etc.

The rest of the collection documents Mae, and to a lesser extent, Keith and Arnold Nutt, and their efforts to legalize marijuana for medical or therapeutic use, in scrapbooks, biographical materials, correspondence, newspaper clippings, an award, interviews and testimonies.

Processing Note: Published materials were removed from the collection and cataloged.

Subject Terms

    • Nutt, Mae.
    • Nutt, Arnold.
    • Randall, R. C. (Robert C.)
    • Drug Policy Foundation.
    • Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics.
    • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (U.S.)
    • Cannabis--United States.
    • Cannabis--Therapeutic use.
    • Marijuana--Therapeutic use--Testing.
    • Marijuana--Therapeutic use--United States.
    • Marijuana--Law and legislation--United States.
    • Drugs--Law and legislation--United States.
    • Drug legalization--United States.
    • Marijuana--Therapeutic use.
    • Beaverton (Mich.)--History.
    • Beaverton (Mich.)--Genealogy.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Mae Nutt Collection. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Nutt, Keith, Biographical Materials, 1980, undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Nutt, Mae, Awards, 1990
    Box   1 F   3
    Nutt, Mae, Biographical Materials, undated
    Box   1 F   4
    Nutt, Mae, Correspondence, 1979-1995
    Box   1 F   5
    Nutt, Mae, Testimony, 1987
    Box   1 F   6
    Nutt, Mae, Scrapbook (folder 1 of 2), 1979-1992
    Box   1 F   7
    Nutt, Mae, Scrapbook (folder 2 of 2), 1979-1992
    Box   1 F   8
    Nutt, Mae, Student paper about Mae Nutt, undated
    Box   1 F   9
    The Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (referred to as ACT), Correspondence, 1980-1993 (scattered)
    Box   1 F   10
    ACT, Income and Expense Report, 1991
    Box   1 F   11
    ACT NEWS (newsletters), 1980-1995
    Box   1 F   12
    Alliance for Drug Decriminalization, (ADD), undated
    Box   1 F   13
    Alternate Resource Center, 1981-1983
    Box   1 F   14
    American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC), 2002
    Box   1 F   15
    Americans for Safe Access (ASA),brochure,  
    Box   1 F   16
    Bills, Resolutions, 1979-1993
    Box   1 F   17
    Brief for U.S. v. Anderson, CR-89-210E, 1990
    Box   1 F   18
    Brochures, flyers, undated
    Box   1 F   19
    Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp, undated
    Box   1 F   20
    Buttons, undated
    Box   1 F   21
    Cannabis Action Network, Flyers, 1990, undated
    Box   1 F   22
    Cannabis Buyers Club, (CBC), undated
    Box   1 F   23
    Cannabis Chronicle (dictionary), undated
    Box   1 F   24
    Cannabis Consumers Campaign, 2002
    Box   1 F   25
    Cartoons, undated
    Box   1 F   26
    Christianity and Crisis (Newsletter), v. 50, no. 11, August 1990
    Box   1 F   27
    Christians for H.E.M.P., undated
    Box   1 F   28
    Compassion Center, Eugene, (Or.), brochure, 2002
    Box   1 F   29
    Drug Policy Foundation, 1990-1992
    Box   1 F   30
    Friends and Families of Cannabis Consumers (FFCC), 2002
    Box   1 F   31
    Hemp for Health, newsletter, 1995
    Box   1 F   32
    Hempstock, 1991
    Box   1 F   33
    Inter-Cannabis Alliance of Researchers and Educators, (I-CARE), undated
    Box   1 F   34
    International Coalition for Addict Self Help (ICASH), undated
    Box   1 F   35
    Japan Medical Marijuana Association, 1999
    Box   1 F   36
    Legal Marijuana? by David Born 1991
    Box   1 F   37
    Letters of Testimony, 1992
    Box   1 F   38
    Marijuana Aids Research Service (MARS), 1991-1992
    Box   1 F   39
    Marijuana as Medicine, 1990
    Box   1 F   40
    Marijuana as Medicine, 1991
    Box   1 F   41
    Marijuana as Medicine, (1 of 2 folders) 1992
    Box   1 F   42
    Marijuana As Medicine, (2 of 2 folders) 1992
    Box   1 F   43
    Marijuana as Medicine, 1994
    Box   1 F   44
    Marijuana, other issues, newspaper articles, 1978-1989
    Box   1 F   45
    Marijuana, other issues, newspaper articles, 1990-1995, undated
    Box   1 F   46
    Marijuana Petition, 1982
    Box   1 F   47
    Marijuana Policy Project, MPP, July 1996
    Box   1 F   48
    Marijuana Policy Report, 2002
    Box   1 F   49
    Marijuana Tea, 1988
    Box   1 F   50
    A Matter of Health, newsletter, 1979-1980
    Box   1 F   51
    Millennium Medical Marijuana March, flyer, 2000
    Box   1 F   52
    Mind, newsletter, March 1993
    Box   1 F   53
    Mother Against Misuse and Abuse, (MMA), undated
    Box   1 F   54
    Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, (MAPS), undated
    Box   1 F   55
    National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, 2000, 2002
    Box   1 F   56
    National Drug Research Forms, Undated
    Box   1 F   57
    National Drug Strategy Network, 1990
    Box   1 F   58
    National Nurses Society on Addictions, Position Papers, 
    Box   1 F   59
    National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), newsletters, 1979-1981
    Box   1 F   60
    Newsweek Magazine, (includes articles on the Nutts and Robert C. Randall) Oct. 25, 1982
    Box   1 F   61
    Ohio Hempery, Inc., 1991
    Box   1 F   62
    Paralyzed Americans for Legal Medical Marijuana, undated
    Box   1 F   63
    Patients Out of Time, (POT), 1995-2002
    Box   1 F   64
    Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Benefits of Marijuana, by Joan Bella, 1993
    Box   1 F   65
    Pikes Peak Hemp Coalition, 1992
    Box   1 F   66
    Schedule of Controlled Substances, 1979
    Box   1 F   67
    State of Michigan Drug Research Forms, 1980
    Box   1 F   68
    States Recognizing Marijuana Medical Value, undated
    Box   1 F   69
    Straight Shooter Productions, undated
    Box   1 F   70
    United Marijuana Smokers, of Mich. (UMSOM), Inc., 1990-1994
    Box   1 F   71
    U.S. Dept. of Justice, DEA Docket No. 86-22, 1987-1988
    Box   2 F   1
    Video, Mae Nutt, Channel 5 News, February 18, 1991
    Box   2 F   2
    Video, Marijuana as Medicine, 1990
    Box   2 F   3
    Video, Marijuana as Medicine, March 18, 1991
    Box   2 F   4
    Video, Marijuana as Medicine, (2 copies), March 13, 1992
    Box   2 F   5
    White House Press Releases, March 5, 1991
    Volumes   1  
    Oversized Volume, Scrapbook, 1979
    Volumes   2  
    Oversized Volume, Scrapbook, 1979-1980