Posted by: malcolmjamesjwells | 20/10/2015

Easing the pain

There is talk of legalising cannabis for medicinal use in Queensland. I’m not against that, having heard first hand of people who’ve genuinely benefitted from its use. I am all for easing the pain of people who are suffering, who wouldn’t be?

 

When I was running my bush regeneration company in the Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains and Sydney there were a lot of characters from all walks of life working in our business. Some were not averse to partaking this particular pleasure, a couple even grew their own.

 

I had no problem with this, as long as they followed the strict rules about not coming to work under the influence, the same as with alcohol. However I did learn more than I ever needed to know about different hallucinogenic substances. One species of mushroom growing in the mountains was highly prized by some. I understand people make tea from them. One weed produced frightening effects and put one person into hospital; he was the only one I knew who tried that one.

 

We often came across little patches of Marijuana plants growing in bushland. These were either destroyed on the spot or reported to the appropriate authorities; much to the disappointment of a couple of our team.

 

One man I knew, with some mature plants growing in a quiet spot on the Hawkesbury, once spotted a police helicopter flying overhead. Thinking he would be raided he hurriedly cut down the plants and attempted to burn them. The raid never came and he destroyed his crop for nothing.

 

The effect of using this particular drug never seemed any worse than alcohol, so I saw no problem with it. However I do have one gripe over the use of it to ease the pain of the suffering. What about the terminally ill who are continually in pain and want or deserve a permanent solution?

 

My own father was a vacant shell for the last year of his life. He knew nobody, was in constant pain, unable to shave, bathe or dress himself; and unable to control bodily functions. At the end he was being pumped with morphine. He was in no position to make the decision himself, but remembering what a proud man he had once been, I know he would have chosen to be able to end it himself with a bit of dignity. I hope that nobody lets me end my days like that.

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