I awoke this morning asking myself what it was I wanted to do with my day. I said to myself, “Let’s coin a new phrase!” I liked the idea, so there you have it, Figi Sensationalism. Wait… that’s not really a “phrase” is it? Still, you get my Drift?
I gotta be real careful here with where I’m going. I’m about to tromp around in a trough containing two inviolable subjects: children and military veterans.
Scary shit, eh? I’ll do my best not to get any on me.
Let’s start with the kiddies.
The first I read about a young child being treated with cannabis was several years before most any of us heard of Doc Sanjay or Dravet Syndrome. A mom in California was putting cannabidiol dominant oil in her child’s food. If I remember correctly the child was suffering from severe autism and the reported efficacy was remarkable. It certainly didn’t cure the kid, but the positive changes were remarkable.
The stigma of pot and kids being what it was most folks weren’t talking about giving kids cannabis, cannabinoid extracts or anything remotely related.
Then Dr. Sanjay Gupta (neurosurgeon with CNN) decided to not only tell the world he’d changed his mind about the utility of cannabis, but make a documentary explaining the why of his change of heart.
And so we met little Charlotte Figi, a poor young girl suffering from Dravet having multiple seizures daily, and how the administration of a cannabidiol rich extract had wonderous effects. The young lady went from a mess to having only a few seizures monthly allowing her to, pretty much, seem a cute little girl with a pesky malady.
Parents with like children started moving to the source of the extract — in droves.
States passed laws allowing the administration of cannabidiol to children with certain maladies.
GW Pharmaceuticals is in a fast track FDA trial with its product Epidiolex, for the treatment of various pediatric epilepsies.
The University of Alabama’s neurology department is conducting a study on the efficacy of treating both pediatric and adult epilepsies with cannabidiol.
Good stuff, eh? Thank Doc Sanjay and CNN for the way they sensationalized the medicinal administration of cannabinoids.
And guilt (I’ll explain, hold your horses!).
Enter Doctor Sue Sisley, formerly employed with the University of Arizona (Sue’s a shrink). Sue got into a telemedicine gig where she was treating military veterans for PTSD, many of whom were reporting relief from the symptoms by using cannabis. Sue had enough anecdotal evidence she decided a double-blind, “gold standard” study was in order. Hell, after a bunch of wrangling she even managed to get approval from Uncle Sam (all three, four(?) departments of). The University canned her.
No, really! Isn’t that outrageous! Here the woman could well be on to something to ease the suffering of our “troops” and the school handed her her walking papers.
You bet it made the media. Vets were quoted on T.V., analyst analyzed, opinion writers opiniated…
Sue landed in Colorado where the Board of Health gave her a 2 million dollar grant to study cannabis’ efficacy in veterans with treatment resistant PTSD.
After all, it is our (society’s) fault, right? I mean, we sent them over there where they experienced the horrors of war, right? We damned well oughta do what we can to help out, eh?
Hell, there’s been a proposal in Congress to allow V.A. doctors to prescribe cannabis to their patients!
Good stuff, eh? Thank the doc’s perseverance, the media, State of Colorado … and guilt.
I’m getting there.
Who in their right mind would deprive a poor, helpless, little convulsing girl anything — anything at all! — that could possibly bring her out of her stupor to laugh and play with her dolls? My gawd man! A person would have to be an animal!
What if it was a grown man? What if it was that bum over in the alley having a fit. No one wants to see that right? It’s best to turn and walk away. Yuck.
It is true a disproportionate number of veterans (compared to the general population) take their lives. I believe the estimated average is 22 daily. I’d guess two have done so while I’ve been sitting here hunting and pecking. Maybe not the two you think though.
A recent study of 4 million U.S. service members and veterans found that deployment is not associated with an increased risk of suicide. Those at the greatest risk are those that didn’t serve their whole enlistment. Here, you can read it yourself in the Military Times:
All of this “veteran suicide!” sensationalism is over people who most likely don’t even have an honorable discharge?! Wait, that’s not what I’ve been told…
What if the participants in the trial were former inmates who’d been gang raped while incarcerated? Former drug dealers whom due to their PTSD couldn’t sleep, use public bathrooms, get a good night’s sleep or function in society? Well, that’s what they deserve, right? Hell, they were probably pushing the dope on kids anyway. Phht.
Now, now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m ALL for treating kids and vets with cannabinoids in an effort to afford a better quality of life. Make no mistake! I’m also for treating the guy in the alley and the ex-con, too. No one gives a rat’s ass about them though. They aren’t cute, don’t interview well, and are basically uncomfortable to be around.
Figi Sensationalism, man.
It begs the question, “Does the end justify the means?”
And maybe I just don’t like the feeling I’m being hoodwinked.
(BTW, that “vet thing” needs more scrutiny. I’m hopeful this new information will prompt some action)