I think the war on disease and suffering trumps the war on “drugs”. I use air quotes because it is difficult for me to equate marijuana with harmful drugs like Lortab, Soboxone, Oxycodone, crack and heroin. I’m not a radicalist or a liberal (maybe a little) or a conservative or a tree hugger (I’ve only met a few I’d like to hug). I’m a realist. And it is beyond time for us to get real about the
possible treatment and even healing abilities of pot. By the way, the title to this post is an ode to Sublime, if you caught that then awesome kudos to you.
The reports that NY, my (unfortunate) home state, may be next in line to legalize marijuana for medical purposes is what triggered this post. I am not claiming to have an opinion on this matter based on anything other than calling it like I see it. I see a need. I see misinformation. I see a lack of information. I see people making bad choices in their lives, like some people will always do, and legitimate proof of this plant is denied because of it.
I’ve seen and read about the benefits of pot. However, nothing solidified my belief that it is inhumane to ignore such benefits quite like a CNN Special Report called “Weed”. Please, if you are on the fence about this issue or you just want to learn more, watch this.
Because of what he learned while doing research for this report, Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, professor of neurosurgery and well known chief medical correspondent for CNN, has done a complete 180 on his views of marijuana .
Dr. Gupta’s portrayal of Charlotte Figi is moving and astounding. Charlotte is a six year old little girl that has Dravet Syndrome. The use of the Cannabidiol (CBD) chemical (the one that doesn’t get you high) found in marijuana was used to rid her of the more than 300 seizures a week she was having. This video, an excerpt from his special report highlighting Charlotte’s story, is one that should go viral. It is difficult to watch in spots, I won’t lie. However, because of that, it will affect you deeply, no matter where you stand on the issue and especially if you are a Mother.
Besides what I’ve seen and heard on the news and other forms of media, I have a personal perspective to put on this. I’ve seen first hand the absolute destruction chemo meds and narcotics used for pain management can have on a persons body and mind. I’ve also seen how a few puffs of a joint relieve symptoms and side effects that wreck havoc on a person’s quality of life.
I was 15 and watching my Mom undergo chemotherapy to treat her cancer. I watched her mind deteriorate and hallucinate from her meds and make her physically sick as a dog. She could barely ever eat. If you have ever had to watch a loved one go through the process of treating cancer, I’m sorry. It’s heartbreaking. I watched her once take two hits of pot (she most definitely did not find said pot hidden in the back on my stereo where the batteries go) and was able to eat a burger. A freakin’ burger when 30 minutes before, she could barely manage to tolerate water. Her spirit even lifted and she was a tad bit of her funny, old self.
I’m not claiming that there are no negative effects to debate. I’ve seen people put pot in their pipe instead of healthy food on their kids plates and that is inexcusable. As a previous professional in the field of mental health, I’ve seen people with mental health disorders use pot to cope and in some cases, like veterans and survivors of abuse suffering from PTSD, it has worked for them. However, in others it was dangerous and almost lethal. Paranoid schizophrenics should not smoke pot. Neither should 15 year olds. There are limits, common sense approaches and a time and a place for everything.
Denying a person something that could possibly improve the quality of his or her life is inhumane. Treatments backed by big pocketed pharmaceutical companies usually end up back firing right out of your ass…literally. Side effects, such as anal leakage, are destined to become the butt of a joke. Pun intended. Having said that, the level of addiction that is directly related to over prescribed “treatments” is absolutely no laughing matter and alternative like medicinal marijuana need to be taken seriously.
I believe in science. I’m a Mother that has seen her Mother suffer and then benefit from something that, somehow ,is still branded as dangerous. I’m a Mom that believes Charolette’s parents should have been informed about how a chemical from a plant could have prevented the over 300 seizures a week that caused permanent damage to that baby girl’s brain while her family, including her twin sister, had to sit by feeling helpless.
Parents will not have to be any more concerned about their kids getting high than they are right now if medical marijuana is legalized. Any (good) parent is already teaching their children the responsibility of following rules, moderation and the consequences that come with ignoring limits.
I cannot believe that a regulated medical marijuana dispensary in a town near you would be dangerous. I worked in a small town that is statistically higher than average in poverty, unemployment and high school drop outs and has bars on every corner and fast food joints encasing the local Wal-Mart. How is that not deemed dangerous?
I am anxious to know how you feel on the topic of legalization of marijuana both for medical and recreational reasons. Are you a parent and does this play in to your opinion. Have you witnessed a person benefit from pot? Have you seen it do damage that leads you to believe it should be off the table no matter the case?