Marijuana Fight is Hypocritical

Marijuana Fight is Hypocritical
Posted by CN Staff on June 15, 2005 at 23:23:53 PT
By Elaine Bellucci
Source: North County Times
USA -- Americans should have the right to make the choices they feel are in their best interest. These "blessings of liberty" should be especially important when it comes to one's health care.Legalization of marijuana for recreational use is not the same argument as allowing its medicinal use under a doctor's recommendation. These are two distinct matters and should be seen as such. However, the arguments invariably become intertwined due to the social stigma associated with the recreational use of marijuana.
One such argument against the use of medical marijuana is that it sends the wrong message to our children regarding drug use. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug among teens. This is a significant societal problem, but not related to or caused by medical marijuana use.There are numerous drugs that are harmful when used recreationally, but beneficial when used under a doctor's supervision. Too many of us have had to explain to junior why we take Paxil or Xanax, or why he needs to take his Ritalin. A seriously ill adult who smokes marijuana to relieve symptoms is not opening a gateway for the nation's youth.I have witnessed my share of the ravages of cancer in my lifetime. I remember my father, during his fight with lung cancer, telling my aunt that he wished he could eat a piece of the pie she baked for him. "I just can't stomach anything," he said, "and nothing tastes good anymore anyway."I've also watched a husband suffer in excruciating agony from stomach cancer because the pain medication he was legally allowed to take knocked him out. He said he didn't want to spend his remaining days in a drug-induced coma. Marijuana could not have cured my loved ones, but it might have eased their suffering.Currently I am helping a friend fight breast cancer. She is preparing for her chemotherapy and we've talked about many things, including marijuana. We've even discussed medicinal marijuana use with our young daughters. Our dialogue hasn't planted seeds of experimentation in our children's heads, it has made them more aware of the risks and benefits of drugs.If circumstances become such that my friend can benefit from smoking pot to ease pain or nausea, I see no sin in the "crime" of growing a plant for her in my tomato garden.Maybe that is the real problem. Marijuana is fairly easy to cultivate and stores well. Government regulation would be cumbersome. There would be no need to manufacture pills, and the pharmaceutical companies would be unable to patent the cannabis plant for profit.I find it hypocritical that the federal government and pharmaceutical industry seem to have no problem with testing, patenting, and marketing drugs such as Marinol, a synthetic of THC in capsule form, to help with nausea in cancer patients. Marinol has not proven as effective in relieving nausea as smoking marijuana, and nauseated people have trouble keeping the pills down.Is this the kind of twisted thinking we want defining our personal freedoms?Studies have indicated definitively that marijuana is not only beneficial in treating the nausea and pain of cancer, but also has shown benefit to easing the symptoms of patients with AIDS wasting syndrome, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, glaucoma, chronic pain and arthritis.I suppose it is time to craft federal legislation. Let's hope there are still some people in Congress who truly have our best interests at heart, not special interests.Elaine Bellucci of Murrieta is a regular columnist for The Californian. Source: North County Times (CA)Author: Elaine BellucciPublished: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 Copyright: 2005 North County Times Contact: editor nctimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Court: Let Congress Legalize It Marijuana Information Links Should Amend Drug Laws Should OK Medical Marijuana
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