Sunday 23 September 2018

Mary Kenny: Dope talk

In light of increased publicity to liberalise cannabis, it's time to talk to get educated

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

When I open my email these days, I find it flooded with various commercial offers. Especially around cannabis products. Now is the right moment, I'm informed, to invest in cannabis. It's getting legal everywhere! It's a profitable product -and, besides, it helps with a range of illnesses "including chronic pain, anxiety, arthritis, diabetes, PTSD, strokes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer".

Justin Trudeau's Canada has legalised it and Canadians can now buy marijuana with names like Girl Scout Cookies, Green Crack and Suicide Girl (eh?) from government-licensed companies. And it's been legalised in Colorado and some other American states for a while now.

It's hard to know what to think of this trend. Many people support marijuana and cannabis for medical use (CNN reports that seven in 10 Americans approve of athletes using it to alleviate pain), and it seems a worthy application of the drug. People with terminal illness are pumped with opium to relieve pain and distress, and why not? Yet, when my sister was dying in New York, I had to sign a waiver saying we would not sue the hospice for making her a dope addict - for absurd legal reasons.

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