Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access(ASA), writes in The Huffington Post about a recent episode of the NBC comedy-drama Parenthood that has a relatively realistic depiction of a cancer patient's use of medical cannabis. Ms. Sherer, like many of us, is surprised that that Obama Administration hasn't taken a more progressive position on medical cannabis. Many cannabis law reform activists were bullish on President Obama's candidacy, but have been unfortunately let down when his presidential practices didn't match his campaign rhetoric to not interfere with states' medical cannabis laws.
Ms. Sherer piece in The Huffington Post:
In the episode "One More Weekend with You," aired November 20, Kristina Braverman's character, played by Monica Potter, tries to stay strong for her family, but becomes violently ill after receiving chemotherapy. Her husband Adam, played by Peter Krause, finds her on the bathroom floor and panics. He cleans her up and then packs all the kids into the car to visit his musician-producer brother, the first person he could think of who might have marijuana. His brother produces some from his sock drawer and warns that it was not the same pot from when they were kids, it was "genetically engineered" (a common misunderstanding of the decades of modern breeding of the plant for human consumption).
In the next scene Kristina Braverman's character is laying in bed smoking a joint. She is visibly better. She says it is strong and puts it out, saying "Save that for later." Her husband asked if it helped, and he is visibly relieved to see her smile. She acknowledges the relief she's found from marijuana, and says her husband will need to get "a lot more." She settles back into her pillow and finally sleeps.
This episode reflects a situation that thousands of cancer patients and their caregivers are experiencing, but not always with the same ending. As a medical cannabis advocate I see this story play out in many ways. Many caregivers don't have a pot-smoking brother and instead find themselves asking for marijuana from friends, family members or even their children. Over the past decades I have heard heartbreaking stories of people having no idea where to look and who to ask for this medicine.
Steph Sherer goes on to plead with cannabis patients and their loved ones to share stories about medical cannabis use. I, for one, have witnessed a drastic improvement in the livelihood of my father since he became a medical cannabis patient. Years of physical labor, carpel tunnel syndrome, two knee replacements and spinal stenosis have left my father in a great deal of pain. Since moving to Oregon from Missouri, his pain pill usage has been cut by more than half and he is able to enjoy his life more so than in years. Please continue to help spread the truth about cannabis and share stories like my father's because the truth shall eventually set us all free.
Republished with the special permission of the National Cannabis Coalition