Saturday, December 16, 2017

Why So Slow?

And now a few words about medical marijuana.

Yeah, I never thought I’d write about it, either.

In what may be the slowest roll-out ever, Maryland is finally getting their medical marijuana program up to speed. Kind of.

More than 20 medical marijuana dispensaries in Maryland approved, drug supply low  by Erin Cox

The good news: they’ve increased the number of places that medical marijuana will be available. The bad news: they’ve got very little to sell, at least until March. My goodness. Could we have made this any more arduous?

I became convinced of the case for medical marijuana by observing the lack of it. My mother suffered for quite a long time due to occluded blood vessels that led to her brain. For many people that would mean having a stroke. For her, it meant increasing dizziness, nausea, and fearfulness over loss of balance and equilibrium. Doctors were no help. They admitted that most people who had her condition never lived as long as she had. It just outright killed most people. So there was no viable treatment plan; it wasn't something that could be remedied by medication or surgery.

Gradually, over a long period of time, she became unable to leave her bed. And constant dizziness and nausea made her reluctant to eat. I have become convinced that the use of medical marijuana would have given her a much improved quality of life as she grappled with a condition for which there was no cure. It would have helped alleviate her constant anxiety, and increased her appetite. That, in turn, would have stabilized her overall health.

She endured years of increasing helplessness. It would have given her more of a sense of her own self at the end of her life, I think. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so this is merely speculation on my part. But it’s true that living through this difficult time with my family made me think seriously about what medical marijuana could do to help suffering patients for whom traditional treatments were inadequate.

Does it seem to you that Maryland’s roll-out of medical marijuana is plagued by an underlying sense of ambivalence? Were the years of delays necessary to do this right? I’m curious about all this.

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