Medical marijuana and death with dignity
February 15, 2016
Death with dignity means my loved one can stay comfortable in their own home as the end comes closer.
They get to sleep in their own bed be surrounded by friends and family any time night or day, unlike a hospital setting. They may be on hospice and have the nurses come to the house, no getting dressed or having to do a difficult car ride and sit in a waiting room.
Volunteers come to the house so I might get some respite care myself. Clergy can come to the house as desired by the patient. People who play musical instruments can come and play soothing music or any music the patient wants.
Medicine is delivered to the patients home, I don’t have to go to a parking lot to get my medicine whether it is Xanax to help with anxiety, pain medicine or many other pharmaceutical drugs to help with palliative care.
It is all about what that one person needs, it is about living right up to the last breath. It is about living a quality life, and if one decides with the aid of their doctor they may be given drugs to end their life on their own terms.
It is not being treated like a second class citizen because you happen to need a drug that the federal government considers a controlled substance, but the state of California sees differently, and has passed a law to allow patients to access to this drug with out fear of arrest. You can’t go to the pharmacy and get it, and hospice cannot supply it to you.
Right now in Arroyo Grande, the city council has decided we can not legally grow marijuana on our own property, cultivate it for use or for medical marijuana dispensaries, have a brick and mortar dispensary or have it delivered to your home by a company. Even though a law was passed by the state allowing terminally ill patients and others such as Devin Ward to have access to marijuana.
Arroyo Grande Council Member Kristen Barniech wrote me and told me Devin’s caregiver could drive him to a parking lot in Pismo Beach to get his medicine, just like you would drive to CVS to pick up any prescription? No! to sit in a parking lot waiting for a delivery to come and you make the transaction in a parking lot is not the same as going to CVS.
Also, fearing a law enforcement officer sees this transaction and detains everyone until they straighten it out, is not like everyone else. And the person who is distributing may be arrested, so next time you need a refill where do you go, who do you call?
And who gets the revenue from that sale, it is not Arroyo Grande, the city this council member makes laws for, it is Pismo Beach. This is a perfect example of not in my back yard. However, it tells certain people they are not worthy of the same dignity and respect being one of the most vulnerable, because they need a drug you can’t pick up at CVS.
I again urge this city council to revisit this topic sooner than the 60 days you are now considering. The reason being Devin Ward is just one of the terminally ill in our community that needs you to think about them. Government works very slowly and these people need help now, they needed your help weeks ago when you voted to out and out put a ban on marijuana in every way, shape, and form.
And why were other cities compelled to still allow deliveries, but we ban everything to everyone. Why not just allow dispensary to deliver? Then go back and really look at what the state voted for when they passed the law so many years ago.
If this was your husband, wife, child, sibling, mother, father would you be willing to wait 60 days? This is a human being, a resident, a partner, a son, a sibling, a friend.
I want him to matter to you, because he does matter to a lot of people. And I don’t want him to suffer as you decide it is okay to wait 60 days.
I have walked this walk, and I can talk this talk, I pray none of you have to do the same in the near future. I know what is going on in Devon’s head and he is scared to death and freaking out. The idea of being in pain, of being left to suffer when there are people who can help and a drug that can and has helped. Yet, instead he is told to wait 60 days. And at the end of 60 days, things might not change, and the suffering may continue.
I don’t know how touched you were by what this man said, but he touched me very deeply. I remember all I went through to help my husband Peter as he died. And we were not trying to get pot, just normal drugs for the terminally ill. It was a struggle and during one stay in Arroyo Grande hospital, I was told by a head nurse, “he is only dying.”
We don’t value the dying. They will not longer vote, they will no longer be patients, they will no longer be contributing people and are considered less than human in many aspects. I will stand and fight with Devin because it is the right thing to do, because he does matter.
Do the right thing, don’t wait 60 days and don’t make Devin Ward suffer physical pain.