Friday, July 16, 2004

Good stuff on TV (diary)

There have been a couple of good documentaries this past week on iChannel. I suggest that anyone who has digital cable or satellite order this channel.

The two documentaries were both about smoking. One following a study in Britain on the medical benefits of marijuana (in a mouth-spray format), and another on the problems people have faced with smoking, including learning to talk without a larynx, the economic and health problems faced by poor countries, and interviews following those who quit (including the infamous cigarette-smoking man from the X files, who is now smoke-free).

Apparently, Southeast Asian countries have been pressured in the past by the US Trade department into allowing cigarette ads and western cigarette companies into their markets. But when asked why the US trade department doesn't let the same countries ban cigarette ads, the Trade representative (admittedly, this looked like the interview was done a while ago) said that it would constitute unfair competition, and that they wouldn't want to impose our values on their culture! As if!

Also, on the subject of medicinal marijuana: these people in the pilot study in Britain took marijuana in a mouth-spritz format and dosed themselves so that there was enough to stop the pain, but not so much that they got high (which they said was not a pleasant experience). Nothing else had helped these people ease their pain.

I have noticed that people with long, painful diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis tend to be advocates for either legalized medicinal marijuana (that's easy to access) and for euthanasia (or both). It seems that we (that is, government regulators) won't let these people ease their suffering by using drugs that we are afraid of, but we also force them to suffer painful lives and not end them. I say that these patients should be telling the government--literally-- "give me marijuana, or give me death."

Now, of course, I'm not referring to all, such patients, only those who are unable to control their pain through legal methods and/or want out.

When marijuana is compared with euthanasia, I don't think it's really that frightening.

- RG.

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