Medical marijuana is a no-brainer

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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If you’re looking for a well-reasoned and unbiased discussion on the House’s decision last week to advance legislation to legalize medical marijuana, you’ve come to the wrong place.

That issue has been a personal one for me since my mom was dying from cancer in the summer of 2017.

Marijuana helped her immeasurably for a couple of months in ways nothing else could, and I’m not the least bit interested in listening to the “other side” when it comes to that issue.

When my mom was diagnosed, doctors told her they could keep her alive for a while, but not much else. She chose to live the remaining months of her life without suffering the rigors of chemotherapy, radiation and the other tortures those in the cancer-treating business resort to when hope is all but lost.

She did, however, choose not to suffer the painful ravages of the disease, and made it clear to my sister and I and her doctor that she was to be kept “comfortable” throughout the end of her life.

We tried, but when it comes to pain, modern medicine has opioids and not much more to offer, often with side effects. Those side effects were terrible for my mom, and included nearly unbearable constipation.

While speaking with her palliative care doctor, he brought up how marijuana, used in conjunction with CBD oil, would help alleviate that issue, if that’s the route we chose to go.

This was in the state of New York, mind you, where medical marijuana was already legalized.

The doctor told us he couldn’t write a prescription for marijuana. For that we’d have to drive mom more than an hour (she wasn’t anywhere near that mobile) to get the prescription, and another 30 minutes to get it filled. If we put her through all of that, we could then spend nearly $300 on enough to give her some relief for perhaps a week, then have to return to get a refill.

Yes, seriously.

We asked about obtaining some in, well, a less complicated way, and the doctor told us as far as he’s concerned, that’s exactly how we should do it.

We made a few phone calls and, before sundown, had what my mom needed, no questions asked.

Any of you who want to make an issue of my sister and I coloring outside the lines on that can be my guest. When it comes to providing relief to my dying mom, the uptight hand-wringing of those who weren’t there and didn’t have to make the decisions we did mean absolutely nothing to me.

The point is we did it, and we’d do it again.

No, the pot didn’t perform any miracles — those come from one source and it sure isn’t a plant — and she still passed away, but it did provide several weeks of relief nothing else in the doctor’s little black bag could.

After she passed, I had time to reflect on the decision we made that day and the risks associated with making it. As I reflected, I became angry that two grown, responsible, taxpaying adults had to take a risk — albeit fairly minor these days — in order to help their dying mother. Particularly when those risks are the byproduct of largely ignorant, knee-jerk reactions to the very notion of marijuana being used for medical purposes.

The good news for those who oppose this comes on two fronts. One is that they thankfully haven’t had the experience my sister and I had with our mom and, two, if the bill passes in the Senate and is signed into law, all you need to do if that day comes for your family is simply not fill that prescription.

See how simple that is?

–30–

Written by Ben Carlson. Cross-posted from the
Anderson News via the Kentucky Press News Service.

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