Anyone who suffers from the physical ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Arthritis, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, or other select disabilities – and uses medical marijuana (or its derivatives) to ease the symptoms of their illnesses – is aware of the ongoing state-to-state battle for the legalization of medical marijuana across the nation.
At present, under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, the possession of any marijuana or derivatives is classified as a misdemeanor. Marijuana cultivation is a felony. In California, under Proposition 215, patients and their designated primary caregivers are legally allowed to form medical cultivation collectives or cooperatives for the purpose of cultivating and possessing marijuana for personal medical use. This piece of legislation is known as the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Right now, during this 2012 voting season, there are seven states with pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. These states are Arkansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, and Ohio. On many of these ballots, the summary of these Acts include the word “compassionate” liberally.
Compassion, by definition, is both empathy and sympathy for the suffering of others. When used, compassion is nothing short of transformative. There is an element of human compassion at the root of almost every religious and spiritual tradition and practice. The most enduring religious and spiritual texts speak at length about the importance and benefits of showing genuine compassion for both your friends and your enemies. As the bearer, the act of compassion strips away our indifference and elevates us to a higher level of human consciousness and development. As the recipient, a compassionate act reaffirms our faith in humanity and soothes some of our greatest, most primal fears.
In the practice of cultivating and distributing medical marijuana to combat the effects of terrible, incurable diseases and illnesses, there is much talk about the balance between compassion and fear. Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, Arthritis, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, and Multiple Sclerosis are a variety of afflictions that can produce extended periods of nausea, weakness, pain, spasticity, appetite loss, wasting, or other incapacitating symptoms. Each of these symptoms is also marked by a terrific amount of fear in the individual who struggles against them. In the effort to legalize marijuana and bring about a greater understanding of the benefits of this type of medicine, we are, as a people, seeking to tip the balance in favor of compassion and reduce the pain and fear associated with a host of truly horrific diseases.
As medical marijuana advocates in the state of California, who have seen or experienced the benefits of medical marijuana in combating the physical and mental symptoms of terrible diseases, our hope is to see more compassionate lawmakers and voters helping to cut through the tangled legal web surrounding this issue – and to help transform us as a people as well.
The P.R. Collective Medical Marijuana blog articles are meant for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for actual medical advice. The P.R. Collective is a San Pedro Medical Marijuana collective that serves patients in the Long Beach, South Bay, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Harbor City, Wilmington, and Palos Verdes Estates areas.
All new patients are required to call or come in 24 hours in advance of their first visit. You may phone (310) 832-2420 between 9am and 8pm every day to schedule a visit.