I'm not much of a pot smoker, personally. However, I am a long time proponent of drug legalization - and not just marijuana, but all drugs. This post has to do with marijuana, though. Specifically its medical use.
My mom has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she has accepted this. She often told me that what she hated the most were the different kinds of painkillers, and the cytostatic that she had to go through, because they made her feel horrible. She agonized over the fact that she only has so much to live, and the remaining time would be spent in painkiller coma, ridden with the dozens of negative side effects that come with them.
As I said, never been much of a pot smoker, but I was aware of that marijuana has been, and is, used to alleviate pain, especially among cancer patients, so I brought it up.
Me being pro drug legalization actually used to be a huge source of arguments between us when I was younger, because she could not understand how I could possibly be pro drugs.
However, we had a really good, mature conversation about it, finally.
She finally figured what the heck, it's not going to make anything worse at this point, and gave me the green light to get her some.
I researched the state of medical marijuana in Finland, and soon found out that you basically need to be on your death bed in Finland in order to receive medical marijuana.
So, suffice to say I opted for the illegal route. No biggie.
Hey, I finally found some actual, real life use for my BTC, at least!
My mom actually has a damn annoying neighbor, who's unemployed and has nothing better to do than to stalk other people and think of things to complain about. My mom wanted to smoke in the balcony, but was worried that Whiner McWhinerson would start whining and calling the cops, and blah, blah.
I then did what every self respecting son would do, and went to an ATM machine, took out some money, knocked on his door and handed him the money, saying my mom is going to die of cancer, she will be smoking pot to alleviate her suffering, and you can keep the money and shut up, or report her and I'll break your neck.
He gladly took the money, and we haven't heard of him. Good.
The point of this writing, though, is that pot smoking has made my mom feel massively better. She no longer takes other sorts of painkillers, and therefore doesn't have to deal with the side effects.
She can live her remaining time more fully, and that makes me infinitely happy.
We've had a lot of rocky times, and it's a damn shame it took something like this for us to get really close, but better late than never.
A lot of people have asked me whether it's more painful to know that a loved one is going to go, as opposed to it being sudden.
I've only experienced it this way, with my girlfriend also having cancer issues years ago, but I think that even though it's painful to know a loved one won't be there for long, you can really weigh in, and appreciate the time you have.
It infuriates me to no end that medical marijuana is still such a taboo in many places, even though the overall attitude towards marijuana has become noticeably more tolerant during the past decade, or so.
I remember bringing up marijuana and drug legalization when I was in high school in 2005, and got ridiculed for it a lot, so it's been nice to feel a sort of vindication over the past few years.
But still the medical use of marijuana has not been tested as much as it should have been, due to its status as an illegal drug in many countries with government regulations getting in the way.
My girlfriend also smoked to alleviate pain, and I was as angry then as I am now thinking that a precious soul like her was technically a criminal simply for medicating herself. My mom is a criminal, as well. No, not a big time criminal, but still.
Not to mention myself. I have basically trafficked drugs, which in Finland makes me worse than a rapist in some instances.
I've said it a million times that cops in Finland care about three things: speeding, drugs and tax evasion.
I'm guilty of all three, so I'm a big time dangerous terrorist in the eyes of the Finnish government.
The point of this writing is that if you or your loved one is going through cancer, I've witnessed the positive effects of smoking marijuana twice now. Marijuana is becoming more and more legal globally, but it can still largely be a bitch to deal with the criminalization.
Moreover, it's a known fact that some chemotherapy drugs can cause peripheral neuropathy, which is a set of symptoms caused by damage to nerves that control the sensations and movements of arms and legs.
It's also a known fact that marijuana has been shown to help with neuropathic pain, including one caused by chemotherapy drugs.
I'm not someone who only praises pot, or puts it on a pedestal of any kind, but the health benefits of smoking for a cancer patient going through chemo and other treatments have been shown, and are too large to ignore.
There have been some reports of marijuana possibly slowing the growth of cancer cells, but I have not been able to verify the credibility of these reports. But even if pot doesn't "cure cancer" as some say, it's worth it to at least make the patient feel better.
My mom has been going out with her dogs, seen her friends, been at home, living. The pain meds had her sleep through much of the day, unable to really function, or do anything productive.
Now she's enjoying her life the best she can.
And that's the most I can hope for. Knowing she's terminal, and having a low quality of life was the fucking worst.