ANOTHER ONE UP IN SMOKE
7 June 2005
What I dislike most about George Bush is that he is causing me and other basically nice, kind but frustrated people to think thoughts we would never have dreamed of five years ago.
Today I'm hoping that Bush or perhaps one of his family members contracts a painful, debilitating disease and he either has to suffer the pain himself, or worse, suffer the pain of watching someone he loves suffer without having any available relief.
Today the Supreme Court ruled that even though it is legal in California to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes if a doctor recommends it, the federal courts can still prosecute based on federal drug laws. (OK, so Bush didn't appoint the justices on the court, but there was no support from the White House for medical marijuana either...and we all know that Bush, as a born-again sober person, stands tough on drugs.
It has been proven time and time again that alcohol is far more addictive and damaging than marijuana. Why in the world this ridiculous law?
I am one of those weirdos who went through the 1960s on the Berkeley campus and never smoked marijuana. I never tried it until I was nearly 60, when I took an experimental puff with a friend, discovered that since I don't know how to smoke anything, I couldn't get any effect from it whatsoever, since I didn't know how to take it into my lungs. That was my one and only experience with marijuana, so I don't preach the benefits of marijuana from any selfish desire to sneak in a little recreational pot.
I remember when my aunt was dying of cancer and the only thing which would relieve her unremitting pain was marijuana, which the doctor told her she should take if she could find it. Imagine how many older Americans there are who are suffering excruciating pain and the only pain killer that the doctor can offer them can result in their being arrested by the government.
Can you picture your 60, 70, 80 year old grandmother trying to find a drug dealer so she can buy some marijuana to stop the pain? Can you imagine Barbara Bush going to some back alley trying to find marijuana because her pain is so acute?
Psychiatrists have stated time and time again that people who take marijuana medicinally don't get the same high that people who smoke it recreationally do, but somehow there is this big "drug" stigma against this medicinal use which seeks to deny chronic pain patients any relief of their pain whatsoever.
(It's the same sort of mentality that won't give morphine to a terminal patient who is admittedly in his/her last days/weeks because they might abuse it. How ridiculous is that? The patient will be dead in a week or two, yet some doctors will still carefully monitor their morphine intake, presumably to avoid their becoming addicted in the last couple of days of their lives.)
I would like to see the president watch someone he loves sink into a disability such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons Disease, knowing that there is good reason to expect that stem cell research could come up with a way to prevent that tragic condition, if caught early enough.
I wonder if it would still be as important for him to deny scientists the right to use those aforementioned embryos which are going to be thrown away if he were to watch, say, one of his daughters gradually lose the mobility of her limbs, knowing that stem cell research could prevent it.
I would like to see the president send a child of his to Iraq to fight in this war, knowing the danger she would face and I am even evil enough to want to see the president watch his daughter come home minus a limb or two, psychologically damaged forever.
I'd like to know if he would feel that imposing democracy on another country was still worth the loss of lives if it was his own child whose life was lost--or, perhaps worse, left irreparably damaged.
I really am a very nice, caring person. But the more I hear about the things that are being done deliberately to hurt people for no good reason, the more I wish that the people who are making those decisions have to experience first-hand the results of those offhand pronouncements that it's so easy to make from the hallowed halls of the Oval Office, or other Washington ediface when you don't have to look in the face of the people it will affect sitting in front of you.
(The other thing that scares me about George Bush is that he has made me paranoid. I re-read this and seriously thought that maybe I shouldn't post it because someone might read it as a threat, rather than as an expression of extreme frustration, and come to arrest me. We've become that much of a police state.)
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Another one of those impressive photos from Peggy