The most stunning moments in my years of involvement in the marijuana legalization movement were when someone told me, “I haven’t tried to kill myself since I started using marijuana.”
I am not a doctor, a psychologist, or even a counselor, so I was really unprepared for that. I have had cancer patients tell me that if they had not had a few tokes of marijuana to help them with the extreme nausea from chemotherapy, they would have chosen to die from the cancer rather than endure the hellish side effects from the chemo. The pharmaceutical antiemetics had stopped working. Even in 1991, “More than 44% of the respondents report recommending the (illegal) use of marijuana for the control of emesis to at least one cancer chemotherapy patient. Almost one-half (48%) would prescribe marijuana to some of their patients if it were legal. As a group, respondents considered smoked marijuana to be somewhat more effective than the legally available oral synthetic dronabinol ([THC] Marinol).”
And I have known patients who did kill themselves rather than go to prison and be tortured to death by a regime that would watch them die in pain rather than allow them to use that plant.
But now … it’s a bigger picture.
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