Monday, 3 July 2017

Show some guts legalise Marijuana

When will we legalise cannabis / Marijuana and make life more comfortable for thousands, Guest blogger Gordon McShean an author and past editor of the Manawatu Guardian now living at Himatangi Beach near Palmerston North writes of his experience with a ‘smoke’ in his younger days in the US. He then gives his take on present day medical care here in NZ

Guest Blogger Gordon McShean, [right] with his friend Larry Haist at a Palmerston North protest back in 2015.

“In 1966 I was one of the first cardiac patients from America to be taken on by the innovative New Zealand heart surgeon, Mr Brian Barratt-Boyes (who would later become Sir Barratt-Boyes). In California, at Stanford University, where I held a position;

I'd been give 3 months to live; they had proposed a pig valve transplant as a remedy. But my insurance company paid the plane fare, and the operation took place with some major international publicity.
That innovative homograft transplant procedure saved my life and I wrote the book OPERATION NEW ZEALAND (published in the US later as BUM TICKER). However, I did suffer some problems.
It was nearly 3 months before I could fly back home to my wife in California. 

During the recovery period some junior doctors at the hospital were concerned that I continued to feel unwell and feel pain;
I'll never forget that they held a party for me - and they surreptitiously gave me a "puff"
of their "smokes," saying that would "ease things" for me.. It did! It is sad then that NZ doctor's opinions have been ignored in the 50 years since! I came to live in NZ 14 years later (I live in retirement in wonderful
Himatangi Beach near Palmerston North.
Himatangi Beach).

New Zealanders have since saved my life 4 more times - but during this time I've never had access to that wonderful pain killer! (I do hear that friends in the US are gaining access to it!).

I wonder what it will take for New Zealand to overcome the conservative prejudices that keep them from easing patients' pains? 

It surely isn't simply a concern that some Kiwis might enjoy the opportunity to have a good time?!
Despite the supposed comfort of their NZ Gold Card and of assistance obtainable through Accident Compensation, every senior I know is protesting the effect creeping charges the government is making upon their decisions to seek medical assistance.

Additional oppressive influences that can be observed include the unreasonable waiting times that are often imposed before persons who are suffering and who are unable to see a consultant or obtain necessary clinical evaluations.

We had never envisaged our country could become so uncaring! We see huge amounts of money being used to increase medical executives' salaries and specialists' fees, and reports being made about their acceptance into the glorious professional brotherhoods (usually in the USA).

The terrible thing about recognizing that this is happening is not so much the misappropriation of essential moneys - it is the increasing likelihood of Kiwis of all walks of life and origins suffering needlessly and dying prematurely. We need Parliament to look into these matters in a credible manner. No NZ political party shows any evidence of dealing with this crisis in an way other than occasional noise-making with the intention of getting votes. What do we have to do? How many of us have to die?

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