Friday, January 25, 2008

Let Mom get happy!

A friend of mine is struggling with a tough choice. His mother, in her 80s, is dying. She has cancer and the tumors have reached her brain. She is deteriorating. Her concept of linear time has gone out the window. She thinks it's day when it's night. She'll put a pot on a hot stove and forget about it.

My friend's mother is a non-believer. She is sure no after-life awaits her. So she is scared. Terribly scared. The anti-anxiety medication she has been taking is no longer working. When he was visiting his mother recently, my friend went to her doctor and asked for, as he put it, "a happy pill" that would help her forget that soon, terribly soon, she will be leaving this world.

The doctor prescribed morphine, a really big bottle of it. But his mother has been asking for something else, a drug with fewer side effects, one that doesn't involve needles, one that will let her appreciate her remaining moments without sending her into a stupor. She's asked her son to score her some marijuana.

My friend lives in a state in the Northeast. His mother lives in one of those states in the Northwest that has taken the position that maybe if medical marijuana might help dying cancer patients, than who are we to judge and prosecute? And really, don't we have better things to worry about than suffering old ladies toking a little bit of pot? But even in such enlightened states, getting access to medical marijuana can be difficult.

And my friend is on this side of the country. And his mother is on the other. He will be returning west soon, but because of our draconian federal drug laws, delivering marijuana across state lines remains a pretty serious crime.

But his mother is scared. What does he do? What would you do?

The ACLU's position on the medical necessity defense for medical marijuana is this:
Medical marijuana is the only hope that some seriously ill patients have for relieving chronic pain, intractable nausea and the other side effects of chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and HIV/AIDS medications. Yet the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to prosecute sick people under federal law.

Even in the 11 states where medical marijuana is legal under state law, patients may have their assets seized, their medical marijuana destroyed, face massive fines and be imprisoned by federal courts. Federal prosecutors and judges often bar juries from hearing testimony about patients' medical need for marijuana and instead present these patients as run-of-the-mill drug users.

Here's a video of the Asylum Street Spankers that brilliantly illustrates the insanity of this nation's War on Drugs.

Lauri in York

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depending upon the state and there discretion usually some anxiety relieving medicine can be had locally from a network targeting this specific demographic.
Don't risk the bust.
In Wa, check out Seattle in OR. check out Portland.
I have known some cancer sufferers who have found someone to some how get them the medicine they need.

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is yet another area of our law where a hysterical, moralistic minority prevents reasonable, enforceable and cost-effective policy.

The puri-tyrannical minority needs to be put in its place. To do so, we have to be willing to speak out and take controversial stands on "taboo" subjects. That requires a strong cultural, as well as legal, commitment to free speech.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read some news from California that the California Supreme Court upheld a decision that allowed for a man taking medical marijuana to be fired from his job for testing positive for the drug.

He was open about it, told them about it, showed his medical authorization for it, and they hired him any way.

But when he tested positive, they dismissed him.

It's legal in California to use medical marijuana, but thanks to the federal government being able to still charge you with a drug offense for it, the court ruled that the company did not have to keep him on even if he did have legal justification to be using it.

What a screwed up country the ignorant folk have forced us into.

10:26 AM  

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