Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wake Up Call

This article should be wake up call to everyone in PA; especially parents, patients, public officials and the medical community. Heroin and narcotic pain medicine overdoses are at record levels and something needs to be done. However, this is a very complex problem with many contributing factors and will only be solved with a range of solutions.

One important point to consider is how medical cannabis could impact and improve the problem. Many people who find themselves using, abusing or overdosing on opioids didn't start out with that intention. They were prescribed narcotics by a physician for a legitimate pain issue, and ended up becoming dependent on and then addicted to those drugs. When denied a prescription for narcotics, many will move onto the cheaper and more potent street drug heroin.

Medical cannabis, which has been shown in clinical studies to lessen the perception of pain, should be available as a safer alternative for pain management. Cannabis is essentially non-toxic and no one has ever died from an overdose. In an October 2014 study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania reported that in states that enacted medical cannabis laws between 1999 and 2010, there was a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose death rate, compared to states without medical marijuana laws.

The research and anecdotal evidence showing the medical utility of cannabis can no longer be denied. How many more people have to suffer and die while a minority of our Legislators worry about what might happen rather than what is happening?

Monday, January 4, 2016

An Advocate's New Year's Resolution

Looking back today on yet another year passed without substantial movement on the Compassionate Use of Cannabis Act, we are reminded of the immense hope we had for 2015. We truly thought it was OUR year.

2015 was supposed to be the year Pennsylvania joined the ranks of 23 other states before us and found a way to balance the health of its sickest citizens with the concerns of the few voices left in opposition to our cause. Instead, our loved ones plight seemingly got lost in an end of year stalemate of massive proportions.

Campaign for Compassion has worked tirelessly, fought energetically, and waited patiently for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass comprehensive medical cannabis legislation. Quite frankly, we’re sick of waiting. We’re sick of smiling, and nodding while we’re being told, “Things just take a while to get done around here.”

Well, here’s the thing, while you guys take a while to get things done, our families suffer. While you adjourn session, we’re on full time seizure watch. While you smugly take advantage of the budget debacle by continuously filing amendments to SB3, in an effort to make it virtually impossible to expedite that particular piece of legislation, we are watching you with contempt and disgust.

The heartbreak we feel, going into the second half of another session prompted us to make resolutions together, in honor of the New Year. We hereby resolve to continue to educate our fellow citizens not only on the importance of passing this life saving legislation, but on exactly which members of the House of Representatives stand by our cause, and which members mock our pain by purposefully and maliciously blocking our progress.

We resolve to fight harder, shout louder, and remind you every single day how much easier your life would have been had you just passed the bill in the Fall like we were promised.

You see, we all promised our loved ones we’d get this done. But unlike some politicians, moms don’t make a habit of breaking promises.

We may not succeed in unseating any of our oppressors, but we can sure as hell make their campaigns a little more challenging. And we can most certainly make sure the people that cast a vote for you once know better this time around. Our families will dedicate themselves to your campaigns, constantly serving as a painful reminder that we have unfinished business during this important election cycle.

To our allies in the House, we resolve to have your back, just as you’ve always had ours. We resolve to encourage you, uplift you, and do everything we can to keep you around. You have our unconditional love and respect.

And lastly, we resolve to make amends, and move forward accordingly. All we’ve ever asked for is the chance to legally treat our loved ones with a safe and effective medicine that has become an option for families in more than half of the states in the US. We are urging the House of Representatives in PA to act with reason and compassion, to no longer stand between our families and the chance we have to be healed, to be whole, to be happy. We are not going away. Please don’t make our fight harder, or we have no choice but to reciprocate such actions.

 For more information, please visit our website!