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As you probably already know, Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) patient who had become the face of “Death with Dignity” chose to end her life on November 1 as she had planned. And I’m really angry.
No, I’m not angry at Brittany or her choice…I’m angry at the Cannabis community for its reaction to Brittany’s story.
Like most folks connected to the Cannabis reform movement, I am the member of numerous social media groups promoting medical Cannabis from oil to pediatric therapy. So you can probably imagine that when a newsworthy event happens, the Cannabis community’s take on it is all over my Facebook newsfeed.
But rather than expressing sympathy for the loss of this young woman, many of the comments I’m seeing go something like this (paraphrased):
“If Brittany had only tried Cannabis Oil she could have cured her cancer!”
“So sad that Brittany didn’t listen to us and chose to kill herself instead.”
And the worst?
“Not everyone is able to vibrate at our frequency, too bad Brittany wasn’t enlightened like we are.”
Here’s a tip: if all the armchair internet quarterbacks put the same amount of effort into promoting Cannabis-friendly political candidates and lobbying for more Cannabis research, perhaps we could increase our impact in a more productive way and give real hope to people like Brittany in the future. Because the fact is, our current Cannabis treatments simply don’t save everyone with cancer, no matter how great their oil is or how much they want to live.
Glioblastoma is a devastating disease. Since my father passed away from GBM in 2012, I have kept in touch with many online “friends” from the GBM support community. A number of these friends have used Cannabis Oil.
And you know what? They have died anyway. Who the hell are we to tell GBM sufferers how they should treat their disease and how they should die?
If you’ve ever been close to someone with Glioblastoma, you know firsthand what a monster it is. It truly cannot be compared to other cancers in terms of its devastation on the body and the mind. Sure, there are a handful of long-term survivors…But the majority of GBM patients suffer greatly before succumbing to the disease no matter how they treat it.
Brittany made the decision to avoid that prolonged suffering, the seizures, the ambulances, the hospital stays, the wheelchair, the catheters, the coma. As a cancer survivor myself, I am grateful that Brittany brought such awareness to the option she chose, because if I am ever in her position and Cannabis Oil doesn’t work, it’s comforting to know that I have options.
It’s ironic to me that the same community that advocates so strongly for freedom of choice cannot accept that Brittany was doing just that: exercising her right to choose.
Instead of berating her for her choice, can we please use Brittany’s death as a call to promote more research and awareness? Because until we learn more about Cannabis medicine, people are still going to die of Glioblastoma whether or not they use oil.
We don’t have the cure for Glioblastoma yet. Let’s remember that, Cannabis community, and let’s push for it.
For previous Ladybud Magazine articles that discuss Glioblastoma Multiforme, click here.
Photo Credit: Fir0002 under (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons