If you had the power in your hands to potentially save a person’s life would you do it? Or would you stop them and have that little thought in the back of your mind about that patient who died, the one you could’ve saved. That innocent life, all they needed was access to the medication that is illegal in too many countries. The drug of Marijuana.
It is a vital part of curing some illnesses and it makes chemotherapy much more bearable for the sufferers. Yet it is only legal in Uruguay and around 30 states in the U.S.A. If those places have legalised it and nothing truly bad has actually happened because of it then why don’t we? Look at all the success stories of people who can now enjoy their lives and look forward to the following days all because of the choices which those countries have agreed on. The drug is safer than tobacco and alcohol. I will not deny the fact that in extreme cases where drug addicts get hold of cannabis it has the potential to ruin family lives, but so can tobacco, have you heard of lung cancer? And alcohol what about liver cancer? Both of these drugs are considered safe and legal, people can use them freely, but, they both have just as bad consequences as marijuana if they are misused. If you take a look at the news or even the local newspaper I am sure you will find that majority of the crime which take place is due to alcohol and drunken people misbehaving because on most days something will go wrong thanks to alcohol based actions. There is hardly ever any articles about cannabis, yes it is illegal but lets face it, everyone knows someone who smokes it illegally, for medical reasons or not, and nothing bad ever happens to them if they use it safely, which more often than not, they do. So why is cannabis illegal? It has extremely useful properties used for healing and treating illnesses, unlike alcohol and tobacco, ever heard of them treating anything? No, I didn’t think so. It is unfair that people who suffer from terminal illnesses that cannot be helped are not allowed access to the one thing that could make their life just a tiny bit better. Why do they have to live with the penalties put in place due to the fear of some stupid idiot misusing the drug in ways it wasn’t intended for?
I know a very special person who currently uses medical marijuana to help with a bacterial illness, the super bug. This superbug is responsible for over 11,000 deaths per year in the U.S alone. This person however had to move their whole life, leave their family here in New Zealand, and now lives in Pennsylvania only so they could get the treatment legally which is saving their life. If this person has had so many benefits from their use of this drug then why are we denying others, with the same and many more illnesses from the amazing properties which this drug provides?
In New Zealand we have one form of medical marijuana available to us, Sativex. This medication however, is only available to people with multiple sclerosis. What about the people with epilepsy, there are children out there who have up to 50 seizures everyday. These seizures are life threatening and destroy the lives of the sufferers. How would you like it if you were not allowed to even go outside and cross the road? For people like this in New Zealand, they need to make a claim to our Ministry Of Health outlining the reasons why they should be able to take the drug. This claim might not even get approved. I am sure most of you would be able to relate to taking medication only available by prescription, for example if you are a sufferer of a rare form of severe migraines and need prescription medication. If that medication had marijuana in it then the Ministry Of Health would decline it. You are now faced with the fact that potentially every week you could come down with an intense migraine that means you are stuck in bed for days on end with no medication that actually makes a difference in the pain you endure. For the rest of your life the only way that you could change things was if you moved to a whole new country. How would you like that? This is what it is like for people who make claims for medical marijuana which do not get approved, but the Ministry Of Health don’t care about how their decision of illegallising marijuana even for medical reasons can impact so greatly on persons life.
For many having no access to this medication makes life unbearable. Unbearable to the point that they no longer want to be alive. Having a life controlled so much by an illness, to the extent of not even being able to have a shower alone due to the fact you might have a seizure, choke on the water and die. No matter how hard you try life cannot be made more comfortable without cannabis. People in this situation are now faced with the thought that they cannot control. The thought that “wouldn’t I be happier if I was dead and up in heaven with no problems?” They volunteer for euthanasia. That too is illegal, and the victim is now faced with only 2 options, suicide or to withstand the suffering which their illness puts them through. The awful thing is that for too many people the first option, suicide, is the only option which seems worth it. This is because without marijuana their lives are dull and they cant do anything, not even work. All they wish for is a place where they can be ‘normal’ and be free of discomfort. The only other place is heaven.
A 14 year jail sentence in New Zealand is a punishment that can occur if you are found manufacturing cannabis, and compared to some other countries this is light. In some cases, marijuana is the medication which saves your life. Yet if you are found using it you could be sent to jail. In extreme cases you may not be sentenced to a death sentence, but it will turn into one as without your medication which is saving your life you have no hope of survival.
Things need to change. We take our lives for granted, our lives free of physical illness that practically disables us. There are many people who don’t get this though, we need to take a stand with them and support them in their fight for the drug that is so important in their lives. We need forms of it that are more concentrated than our country allows and we need to have it available like any other prescription medication.