Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Dear Mom of the sick kid under 18...
I know you. I cry for you sometimes. I pray for you, and hope you are well. I feel this connection. I can relate.
I am you.
You have been suffering immeasurable heartbreak, watching your young child's health continue on a downward spiral for all these years...For what seems like forever...
You fought hard for the right to use medical cannabis legally in your state. You took a step outside of your comfort zone and exposed your family's wounds to everyone who was listening. It was raw. It was emotional. It was a punch to the gut every time you had to tell your story to another person.
Telling it once should have sufficed.
I know you didn't stop there. You invested yourself in a cause far mightier than you'd ever dreamt it could be. You extended yourself to a community of patients and their loved ones. You got to know them. You embraced them and wept during dark moments. You cheered and celebrated with them during the best of times. You fell madly in love with them somewhere on the journey.
And now...You...You feel like you can't smile or feel even a hint of joy because your child is soon to be legally protected, when others are not. You won't talk about the safe harbor. You won't offer advice or even acknowledge that it exists because someone might mistakingly think that you are okay with your child being put before theirs.
Here's the thing, my friend. That safe harbor wasn't put in to SB3 because your child was more important, and others less. It was added as a fail safe for parents who need to apply to be a caretaker, knowing that if you have a recent drug possession charge, the state can't authorize you to be responsible for your child's medical cannabis.
Doesn't it all just drive you mad sometimes?
So listen, I need to let you know something. When you come across these angry people who troll social media and say angry things about your child not deserving help, you can't let them bring you down. You can't let them steal what little peace you have right now. And when a genuinely broken member of our adult patient community expresses their anger, know that they are not angry with you. Know that this is an injustice that is difficult to bear. Know that you must try to bring them comfort, as you know how to bring comfort so well.
None of this is fair. It's not fair that adult patients have to wait. It's not fair that you still have to violate federal law. It's not fair that we had to fight this hard for anyone to still be denied access to medical cannabis.
Your kiddo needs this. No, not more than anyone else. But denying them the right to protection won't suddenly grant an adult protection.
Own it, my friend. Get your documents in order and you register for the Safe Harbor, and don't look back. Not once.
And don't dare stop fighting for more. The real tragedy only lies in serving yourself and walking away. Keep up the fight. Be a bad ass. Don't stop telling your story. And don't stop listening to other stories. They will be your source of fuel as you continue this journey.
Cheers to you, with all my love...
Your fellow mom of a sick kid under the age of 18
For more information on the Safe Harbor: Temporary Guidelines for Safe Harbor Provision of Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program.