In My Opinion
The Legalization of Medical Marijuana Still Has To Overcome Stereotypes
Marijuana has been legalized in 18 states and in Washington, D.C. But the lack of education and knowledge of research supporting how cannabis can help assist those in severe pain stands in the way of the conversations and even the potential of raising more support for those interesting in accessing the information and treatment.
When reading the story about Mykayla Comstock, a 7-year old from Oregon suffering from leukemia and how her mother is giving her marijuana to help her deal with the side affects of chemo, people, including her father, can’t get past the words “7-year-old taking marijuana”. It doesn’t help that our sensationalist-driven media promotes the story with baiting titles and very little facts.
Few will take the time to read about how the pills she is taking don’t compare to smoking pot – or fail to envision a 7-year-old doing just that.
Her father, so concerned with how the alternative treatment could potentially affect her cognitive development, isn’t considering how it is easing her pain. Nor how it has the research to do just that for others – improve their quality of life while undergoing treatment for cancer and other terminal illnesses.
And it makes me wonder, how much longer after the first steps towards listening to what the people want, do what the people want actually happen without the prejudice and stereotypes? Without the barriers and red tapes?
If people have voted for something that research has shown has helped in the past, shouldn’t we take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves and learn all we can before passing judgment and potentially standing in the way of progress?
I have never had marijuana in my life, recreationally, nor, thankfully, medically. I don’t know what I would do were it my own child. I suppose that if there was a way, a proven method to ease their pain, to make them at least feel better during what can potentially be their last days on this earth, I would do it. No matter what people said. No matter what the judgment. No matter the fear and ignorance of others.
I would do it because they would deserve that chance….a chance to not suffer.
I applaud Mykayla’s mother for her courage and for her fierce love for her child. I hope the treatment is one that gives her just a little more peace during this difficult time. I hope that we can find compassion in our hearts for other people and things, even if we don’t fully understand them.