Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Medical Marijuana: Should It Be Legalized?

I know that for some this is a touchy subject. Should marijuana be legalized for people with severe physical disabilities who say that no other medicine prescribed by a doctor will ease their suffering? I think it should.

Countless Americans (and countless people worldwide) suffer from debilitating diseases like multiple sclerosis and others. They say that unless they smoke a joint, they can't move on their own. The pain is excruciating, and they're practically useless, physically speaking.

If you didn't already know, California passed a State law saying that if a physician prescribes it, patients who really need it can take marijuana as medicine for their pain. Montel Williams (the popular television talk show host) has said many times on his show that he, himself, uses medical marijuana. He has MS, and, he said, that if he doesn't smoke a joint in the morning, he can't get out of bed. Needless to say, he's a raving supporter.

I know what kind of pain surgery on one's bones can bring. It's unbearable. It's the kind of pain that won't let you sleep even if you're hopped up on pain pills that cause drowsiness! And as bad as that is, that's the kind of pain that goes away over time. People with these diseases don't have the luxury of knowing that eventually, their pain will get better. It's worse than what I experienced with my reconstructive foot surgeries!

Anyway, now the Supreme Court has said that federal law overrides state law, so physicians in California who are prescribing medical marijuana are breaking the law. The justices are afraid that these ailing patients will sell their medicine to drug addicts. But why would you sell something that helps you function if you absolutely cannot function without it? I mean, does it make sense?

Yes, marijuana is a drug, but so are all of the other prescriptions that doctors prescribe! Any prescription drug can be abused. Any drug can be addictive. Any drug can cause death if used incorrectly. All the federal government has to do is move marijuana from one list of drugs to another. It's that simple.

Montel had something interesting to say on his show: "I don't care if my doctor wants me to smoke it in front of him in his office. If I have to be at his office at 7 a.m. in order to use my medicine, I'll be there. Somehow."

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