Marijuana, legally sold and taxed, might soon be reality in California — and we’re not talking strictly about medical marijuana.
The L.A. Times reports that an initiative to legalize marijuana will appear on the November ballot. The initiative calls for allowing adults 21 or older to possess up to one ounce for personal use, or to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per residence or parcel, and allows cities and counties to raise revenue through taxation of cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana. Budgetary concerns in California make this particularly appealing, but it is certainly not without opposition. Between now and November we can expect to hear interesting cases made both pro and con.
While it remains a federal crime to possess or sell marijuana, last year the Obama administration set new policy guidelines to cease action against medical marijuana users and suppliers who conform to state laws. This proposed legislation, should it pass, opens up a whole new can of worms in state law versus federal law.
In many other states around the country, the case for medical marijuana is still being debated.
Imagine living in chronic, severe pain, or with a debilitating condition that seriously impacted your quality of life. What if there was a source of temporary relief for your symptoms, but it was denied to you. Until you walk in those shoes, it is difficult to pass judgement on those who do.
The law, however, does pass judgement. Although marijuana has been reported to help people cope with a variety of chronic medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, AIDS, cancer, and glaucoma, it is still illegal in many states in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, even for medical use.
Social stigma and stereotypes twist the issue into a moral argument rather than a purely medical one. Watch an evening of television and you’ll be bombarded with ads for powerful prescription medications with lengthy lists of potential side effects, including addiction and death, but they are not only legal… they are strongly encouraged by physicians, through advertising and celebrity endorsements, and often paid for by health insurers.
Patients report that use of medical marijuana provides relief from spasticity, nerve pain, tremors, sleeping disorders, nausea, and depression, greatly improving quality of life. For people living in chronic pain and discomfort, whether or not to use marijuana as medical treatment is a very personal decision, or at least it should be, and one that should not be criminal.
The United States is hanging on to antiquated notions of marijuana, steadfastly refusing to recognize its legitimate medical use… please sign the petition asking the U.S. Congress to recognize the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
As a person who has relapsing/remitting MS, I am very fortunate to still enjoy periods of remission that provide relief from symptoms. I have no need for marijuana or the regular use of any type of pain medication. However, having experienced extended periods of pain, discomfort, and a fair amount of disability, I have an inkling of how life might change should my MS run amok and become more aggressive, or if some other condition should rear its ugly head. It is a possibility I cannot dismiss.
When you discard the hypothetical exercise and think about it in terms of your own quality of life, your own day-to-day existence, marijuana, like any other prescribed medication, could be one more option for those who have few, if any. It’s a choice I hope I never have to make, but I’d sure like to know it’s there.
Care2 Action Item
National MS Education & Awareness Month
Coping with MS: Breaking the Cycle of Defeat Life isn’t fair. Much like a board game, we pick a card… roll the dice… spin the spinner… and we get what we get. Unlike a simple child’s game, though, there are a myriad of choices to be made that directly affect the outcome of those random events.
Your Choice: Exist with It or Live with It What wife asks her husband to stop doing the dishes? I can almost hear the collective groan from wives the world over, but there was a method to my madness.
Longing for Liberation All around the world people with multiple sclerosis have been clamoring for action, ever since cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni released his controversial findings, challenging everything we thought we knew about MS.
Diagnosis, Denial, Due Diligence What do you do when everything you know about yourself changes just as you are hitting midlife? How do you plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before?
MS: Who Gets It and Why The who, what, where, when, why, and how of multiple sclerosis.
A Diagnosis Odyssey It began with a seemingly benign but persistent tingly feeling in my upper right arm. It was the kind of thing you tend to dismiss and certainly not the kind of thing that makes you rush out to see a doctor… but there was more to come.