Medical marijuana and death with dignity

February 15, 2016

med potOPINION by PATTY WELSH

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.


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29 Comments

  1. unlisted says:

    “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?”

    Wow, hasn’t Barniesh heard that you can have your prescriptions delivered to you by mail or courier?

    And besides, if I lived in AG, why should I be forced to go to the CVS in Pismo rather than the one in AG???

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
    • antishillnetwork says:

      i don’t think she has heard much.
      she obviously doesn’t even understand she lacks the authority as a county official to supersede state law. ( voted in by a majority of Californians. today it would be even larger ) maybe if she wants to live in the past and enforce dystopian laws; she could move mid east US? cheaper; and she would be right at home with such antiquated thinking.

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  2. antishillnetwork says:

    ‘Arroyo Grande Council Member Kristen Barniech ”

    who exactly is this lunatic; and why is she making choices that are not hers to make?

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
    • swampfrogge says:

      anti the reason KB is making these choices is because she is an appointed city council member and that is their job.

      If you want to do something come Nov vote her out

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
      • antishillnetwork says:

        i thought her job a public official was to represent the interest of the public; not blatantly defy them like some fascist oligarch. Am i missing something? dismissing the public want in favor of personal discrimination should be automatic grounds for removal and she should face criminal charges. downright treason as far as i am concerned.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. antishillnetwork says:

    “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, ”

    100% illegal. the county does not have the power to overrule prop 215 and sb420 . every patient is guaranteed their right to grow 6 plants. the california supreme court upheld this ruling. i urge everyone to grow what we are allowed to; via prop 215 and sb420. everyone have a good lawyer. this is well worth suing their a$$ in court. they will lose.

    UPDATE 2/3/2016 – Gov. Brown signed an urgency bill (AB21 – Wood) to delete a provision requiring localities to regulate cultivation by March 1, 2016 or else defer to state regulations. The bill also deletes language that explicitly authorized local governments to ban storage, cultivation, provision, transport, etc. by patients and caregivers.

    NOTE: On May 22, 2008, the Second District of California Court of Appeals ruled that the state limits on medical marijuana possession and cultivation established under SB 420 are unconstitutional. On January 21, 2010, the California Supreme Court in essence affirmed the ruling. The legal standard is now that a patient an amount that is reasonably related to their medical use. When possible, California NORML strongly advises Prop 215 patients to continue following the SB 420 guidelines in places where local governments have not passed cultivation ordinances.

    SB 420 Enforcement Guidelines

    State law, SB 420 (Health & Safety Code 11362.7), which took effect on Jan. 1, 2004, protects Prop. 215 patients from arrest provided they cultivate no more than 6 mature or 12 immature plants and possess no more than 8 ounces of dried marijuana (H&SC
    11362.77(a)).

    Counties and cities are authorized to establish higher (but not lower) limits if they wish (H&SC 11362.77(c)). Listed above are those localities that have adopted limits above the state limit.

    Patients who need more marijuana can be exempted from these limits if they obtain a physician’s statement specifying that they need more (H&SC
    11362.77(b)). While police are often reluctant to recognize such exemptions, they are helpful in court.

    Despite supposed protections of SB 420 and Prop 215, patients may still be arrested if law enforcement suspects they are outside the law, for example, by being involved in illegal sales or distribution, or growing plants with excessive yields.

    In general, the state Attorney General has given local authorities discretion in how they enforce Prop. 215, as explained in a letter to local law enforcement officials.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  4. swampfrogge says:

    Nice article I hope the council does review this issue sooner rather than later, there are more people like Devin who are affected by this decision. I still don’t know why the city felt they needed to ban all forms of this medicine when other cities did not go that far.

    Mrs. Barniech is obviously a nature blonde, and a dumb what at that. She reminds me of Forrest Gump, Stupid is as stupid does.

    (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
    • antishillnetwork says:

      why are these people in official positions?
      we must try much harder to make sure sociopaths like her are not allowed to represent the people; and if they do; they should be forced to resign. they have one job; to do what the people ask. not enforce their disgusting antiquated drug war propaganda filth.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down

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