With over 25 years as a registered nurse, I’ve seen a great deal of suffering; it’s a part of my job that I have mostly come to terms with. Unnecessary suffering, however, is something that’s more difficult to manage.
I have known many patients with debilitating conditions who might have benefited from the use of medical marijuana, including my own father. These people will never know how their quality of life might have been improved. We can and must bring this type of suffering to an end.
There is ample evidence that medical marijuana has an important role in alleviating symptoms from debilitating conditions. It was this overwhelming evidence that led Tallahassee to legalize a high-CBD, low-THC strain of marijuana. However, that legislation doesn’t go far enough.
We must expand access and ensure that sick Floridians can legally obtain all strains of marijuana that could ameliorate symptoms from a wide variety of debilitating diseases and conditions including cancer, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma and Parkinson’s disease among others.
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As my father struggled to maintain his sense of independence, and his ability to care for himself declined, he began to fall regularly, breaking bones that had become enfeebled by chemotherapy. Powerful narcotics capable of inducing an almost zombie-like state of consciousness were not enough to alleviate his suffering.
At that time we didn’t know just how helpful medical marijuana could be. Now I would say, without a doubt, that what he needed was medical marijuana. People should not risk arrest for securing the medicine they need.
I’m going to be voting for medical marijuana this November to make sure our parents, siblings, and children no longer have to suffer unnecessarily.
I hope the rest of Florida will, too.
Denise D. Glass, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit,
Jackson Memorial Hospital,