When one hears the word, “Politics”, it is natural to think of the political process itself, but politics is a much wider arena than merely a way to get elected to office.
In this election year, we’re being inundated with politics. The politics of the left, of the right, of the corporations, of the special interests… of the people. It’s no accident I list ‘the people’ last.
When I’m standing in the Capitol at Harrisburg, having a sense of deja vous all over again, to quote Yogi Berra, it’s pretty easy to see why the people are frustrated with the entire political process.
This week I did just that, and I must admit, I felt pretty damned frustrated.
Once again, I found myself speaking at the state capitol, on behalf of the people who need medicine.
Not a buzz, not a way to enhance their listening pleasure when they put on, “Dark Side of the Moon”.
How heartless the system must seem to those who feel they no longer have a voice. How cold and unforgiving and uncaring that system appears to people, including those of us who are an integral part of that system. Now, imagine the depth of that feeling when that system would deny medicine to people who need it, and being one of those people, or the relative of those who need that medicine.
Imagine being severely injured, in need of pain killers, and being denied that medicine because of politics, simply because that medicine flies in the face of a political narrative, that has very little to do with helping people.
Heroin has become a scourge once again. Young people are using it at an alarming rate. It’s a very real problem, featuring a drug that truly destroys lives. Yet no politicians are saying Morphine, or any of it’s derivatives, should be discontinued because it also gets you really high.
Heroin comes from morphine, and by the logic of politicians, morphine should be illegal –AS MEDICINE.
It’s the exact same argument politicians are using to deny people medicinal marijuana. People get high on marijuana, so it can’t be medicine.
You can bet those arguments would evaporate for those same politicians if they or their loved ones were denied pain killers to ease their suffering.
Morphine is pretty potent stuff before it becomes heroin. It can be smoked or eaten or distilled into a drinkable form. Sound familiar? Yet, that’s where the similarities with marijuana end.
Morphine, and all it’s derivatives, are highly addictive, and is often at the heart of addiction problems that become worse once someone can no longer get it- or it’s derivatives- as a prescription. Those people often turn to drugs like heroin once they are cut off from their prescription, but at that point, it’s no longer medicine. It’s feeding an addiction.
By contrast, even in it’s purest form, THC is non-addictive and non-toxic. It does not result in catastrophic consequences for those who use it as a recreational drug, let alone as a means of easing suffering. Unless of course, they get arrested for possessing or selling it. That can be quite catastrophic.
Unlike morphine, marijuana is not just a pain killer– it can also be a cure. Scientific studies overwhelmingly agree that medicinal marijuana has potential to be an effective cure for many conditions. It is often the legal status that prevents even more research from being done.
And still, here we are, standing in the state capitol, once again pleading with a few politicians to stop denying people medicine. Not doctors. Not scientists. Politicians.
As I read through my Facebook feed, and see the level of rancor in any attempt to discuss political solutions to very real problems, I have to SMH and do a double face palm. Polls show an overwhelming 84% of Americans support medicinal marijuana. Why would any politician attempt to fight numbers like that? Eighty four percent.
This is only politics for those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
Why they would want to ignore so clear a mandate from the people they represent to maintain that status? That is the real question we should be asking.
Who do these politicians really represent?