Monday, March 26, 2007

The War On Drugs & Death With Dignity

Recently, a federal court upheld the right of the federal government to arrest those who use medical marijuana even if they are residents of states who have passed medical marijuana laws. It angers me that people would be so punitive and hardheaded to deny a person who depends on marijuana to live with a disease or condition with some comfort. These are often the same people who oppose legislation for assisted suicide by claiming that all people need is to have the right meds to keep them comfortable. Why would anyone support a government that would criminalize those who are already suffering from a terminal illness. Why would anyone allow that? I don't get the lack of compassion, and just saying you have compassion doesn't cut it. You don't show compassion for a person by allowing them to be turned into criminals.

Who cares if people who are less than terminal or in real pain use marijuana? Who cares if healthy people use it? If marijuana is grown by the user, there isn't the issue of supporting terrorists, drug cartels, or domestic drug gangs. Wouldn't the best way to cut into the income of these bad people to allow people to grow their own to give away to those who need it? Wouldn't decriminalizing marijuana allow law enforcement to concentrate on the really bad drugs like meth, cocaine, or heroine -- that we all agree are harmful? Arguably alcohol is even more dangerous than marijuana and it remains legal.

There are two types of people. There are people who believe that life should be preserved regardless of the quality of life issues. Then there are people who believe that they value quality of life more than quantity of life. I fall into the latter camp. Every person has their own definition of quality of life and what they are willing to do to preserve their lives in the face of suffering or terminal illness. There is no wrong answer for each person, but we shouldn't be enforce one person's personal preference for end of life on another.

A ninety-five year old woman shouldn't have to blow her brains out because our country doesn't believe in physician assisted suicide for someone who would rather die than suffer cancer and waste away. There are people who decide to allow themselves suffer and waste away in their final months, days, and hours because of their own religious beliefs or own philosophy which should be protected by law. Good for them. I think that each individual should have the liberty and privacy to be able to include physician assisted suicide as part of their end of life medical care.

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