The State of Medical Cannabis in San Diego: More Patients than Patience
By: Pamela Jayne
Disclaimer: This was written in a state of raw emotion in reaction to the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justiceâ€™s decision to shit on the rights of medical cannabis patients and providers. The following words are neither eloquent nor offensive, but true. And like my Mom has always said, â€œThe truth will stand when the world is on fire.â€ Thanks for the wisdom, Momâ€¦and sorry about the F-bomb.
Iâ€™m just going to tell it like it is. There is no use in sugarcoating what has happened to San Diegoâ€™s medical cannabis community in the past month. We have been forsaken by our own government whose job it is to protect our rights, and although we know that there is a light at the end of this unjust tunnel, we also know that it may take quite some time to see that light. Recent headlines have proudly proclaimed the news that â€œPot Shops Must Shutâ€. Local, state, and federal officials have declared victory, but victory over what? â€“Victory over a God-given plant that has existed since the dawn of time? Hell, they may as well declare war on oxygen, which would not make any less sense.
Something else that strikes me as odd, and by odd, I mean corrupt; why is it that politicians have no qualms with telling patients and doctors what is and is not acceptable medical treatment, but there has never been a case where a doctor was allowed to walk into a courtroom and make a decision on a legal matter?
I could rant and rave about my disdain for the establishment until the cows come home, but I would much rather get back to the heart of the matter, the patients. They are the ones who have been hung out to dry by the politicians who would cut off their own noses just to spite their faceâ€¦and of course, to win the next election or be appointed to an even more powerful position.
The recent news that Brianna Bilbray has gone against her fatherâ€™s well-known political leanings against medical cannabis has given me hope and sadness; hope that more strong willed survivors like Brianna will speak out, and sadness that her own father is still hesitant to publicly support the plant that has helped his own daughter to endure the brutal and caustic, yet necessary, process of chemotherapy. God, I hope for her sake that he is more supportive in private than he is in public. This reminds me of all of the patients I have had the honor of meeting and writing about. Some of them are alive and well, some of them are still fighting, and some have, sadly, lost their battle. They all told me that in their decision to use medical cannabis, they had the complete support of family and friends. Now these people may not be as important as Brian Bilbray thinks he is, but at least they have the decency to stand by their loved ones. I know for a fact that if I were in Briannaâ€™s shoes, my Daddy would not hesitate for a single second to come to my defense. Again, I pray that his public statement is not indicative of his true beliefs.
Yes, I am angry. I am very angry that the very people entrusted to protect our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have, for all intents and purposes, said that they do not care if we live or die, or if we prosper or suffer. Hell, they have refused to even comment on the matter. Guilty conscious? Or just covering their own asses? Iâ€™m guessing the latter.
What frightens me the most about the forced closure of medical cannabis collectives in San Diego is the stark reality that it has all but ended safe access to a medicine that literally saves lives. I know several patients who have said that they will have to stop using cannabis as medicine because they are not comfortable with â€œgoing to the streetsâ€ to obtain marijuana. Not only are some patients uncomfortable with doing this, some are simply unable. Not only is expecting an end-stage cancer patient to resort back to alley drug dealers inhumane, it is flat-out fucking ridiculous!
So what does the future hold for San Diegans who rely on medical cannabis for relief? It is definitely touch-and-go at the moment, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the truth and what is right will ultimately prevail.
Despite my anger at the situation and my instinct to say, â€œFuck the government!â€ I am not willing to give up or surrender to the bitterness that often accompanies disappointment. I have faith that, sooner than later, we will prevail. The powers that be, those that believe they can rule, will shortly come to find that We The People will not be silenced. We will not let our votes or our voices go unheard. We will, we will, prevail. They may have won this battle, but we will win the war, because we are in this for the long haul.
Sorry about the rambling rant. I am just so very raw, angry, despondent, and fired up to be eloquent or objective. I promise that next month I will be back with the story of a patient, and I will put his or her story ahead of my own selfish desire to prove a point. As a wise man, who happens to front one of my favorite bands, once said, *â€œGOD MADE IT, MEN USE IT, GOVERNMENTS PUT PEOPLE IN CAGES FOR IT.â€