Mom and marijuana

Supervisor MacGlashan's proposed ban would affect patient access

My mother recently discovered the joys of marijuana.

Diagnosed 18 years ago with multiple myeloma, a cancer that chews up bone marrow, she forsook every Western remedy directed at her by doctors—chemotherapy, radiation, steroids—and instead charted a stridently holistic path that embraced raw foods, yoga and way too many enemas.

Nearly two decades later, the jury is still out. She isn’t cured, but she isn’t dead, either. Which is itself a victory, say myeloma specialists.

It’s surprising then that it took Mom this long to embrace a plant-based pain reliever with rumored probative benefits. That happened a couple months ago, when, to soothe bone aches and help her sleep, my brother scored some edibles from a dispensary worker. A mix-up led to Mom eating way too much the first time, and getting so stoned she scaled the fence to her backyard after locking herself out. But there’s trial and error with prescription meds, too.

After obtaining her own medical-marijuana card and more carefully parsing her doses, Mom has become a sticky-icky convert, nibbling tiny morsels at bedtime and sharing her supply with curious relatives and neighbors. She even contemplated smuggling her medicine across the border to an integrative health clinic, but her sons convinced her she wouldn’t do well in a Mexican prison.

She wouldn’t fare well in a Sacramento County jail, either, so it’s disappointing that Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan fronted an effort to outlaw the cultivation of medical marijuana in the county’s unincorporated areas, even by patients, caregivers and regulated dispensaries. While a vote was scheduled after our print deadline on May 13, the item’s inclusion on the supervisors’ consent calendar usually means automatic approval.

Now, my mother doesn’t live in the unincorporated county or grow her own supply yet, but make no mistake: This decision affects her and countless other local patients. After all, where does MacGlashan think the medical-marijuana products that end up in the hands of cancer-sufferers like my mom originate?

In her board letter, the supervisor rightly notes the environmental and public-safety impacts that irresponsible cultivations create, but that’s no reason to bully through a zero-tolerance prohibition that will create a larger demand for cartel product and criminalize patients.

Pot opponents love to say weed makes people stupid. It’s certainly making our politicians act dumb.