Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Perspective on the Battle Over Marijuana Legalization

I keep seeing the battle over marijuana, medical marijuana, decriminalization, and legalization in the news, online, in print, on NPR. As usual, my view is not the popular one. I do not want it legalized or decriminalized. Why? Well, having Sensory Processing Disorder makes me extremely hypersensitive to smells. Marijuana has a very strong odor and it hurts me. It is much worse than the smell of cigarettes, which also causes me pain. I have a neighbor that has an occasional cigarette in their open garage. I have never smelled it surprisingly, but someone can smoke a joint many blocks away and I can smell it intensely. We moved several times to get away from neighbors who smoke marijuana. Now that we bought a house I can smell sometimes in the evening someone within a 2-4 block radius or so smokes it at night. It hits me like a brick wall when I take my dogs outside. I smell it immediately; it hurts my head, my sinuses, makes me dizzy, hurts my ears & throat, makes me want to vomit. I can smell it even before my husband does or even if he can’t. And even though I am outside, it penetrates my clothing and I can smell it on them up to an hour later, even though the person(s) smoking are never seen or anywhere nearby that I can tell.

One might argue that if legalized it can be ingested, yeah, but many are still going to smoke it. And even if it is only legalized for medical use, that means my very close neighbor who has kidney cancer can sign up, get a card, and grow two plants in her back yard and smoke it outside and I will be stuck inside my house, won’t be able to open my windows on warm days, won’t be able to step out to let my dogs go to the bathroom unless I want to get sick. Her second hand smoke may irritate my lungs, give me cancer, hurt my sinuses and there will be nothing I can do to protect my own health and well-being. Dogs have died and gotten extremely ill from ingesting marijuana, so should she accidentally drop part of the plant, a joint/roach, or a leaf blows in my backyard, it could kill my dogs.

I will admit I have tried it myself in my teens and twenties. And I can say from experience it made my anxiety and insomnia a million times worse and did nothing for my pain & SPD issues.

A woman in one of my SPD groups who lives in Colorado has said her family has always relied on public transportation and now that marijuana has been legalized it is smoked openly in public and sometimes even on the bus. While someone may get kicked off the bus or may smoke it right before getting on, they bring with them the horrible smell. She can no longer ride the bus because her 10 year old son has Sensory Processing Disorder and the smell hurts him and he gets sick and has extreme meltdowns. They now have to pay more to take a taxi and she fears they will encounter the same problem and may have to move since they cannot afford a car at this time.

A friend of my husband's with lung problems lives in Washington and has complained of the same thing. He doesn’t own a car, has always taken the bus to his job and around town. But now that pot is widely smoked, drunken young people at night take the bus and sit in the back and smoke pot. They exit before they are caught or thrown off, but the smell lingers and he gets sick and cannot breathe, coughs, and has to take medicine.

So please tell me for those of us who have breathing problems, illnesses, disorders, Autism - why would we ever want this legalized if it is going to hurt us? Many people already are so self-involved, inconsiderate, ignorant, so now they can kill off more brain cells and make others sick too? I have several acquaintances that have husbands that smoke pot like it is air and have done so for 15-20 years or more. They both have that ridiculous Beavis and Butthead huh huh laugh. Neither is very intelligent, has a good job, or really anything to show for their life. They live to smoke. They might argue it is their right. I think they have the right to do whatever it is that makes them happy, if they want to be a brain dead twit, so be it. But when it starts hurting others, making others sick, affecting the well-being and lives of those who value their life, their brain, their health, there lies the problem and my belief that it absolutely should not be legalized because it is not your right to make others sick.

If it can be used to help one medically, then it should be in pill, oil, or another form that will not affect others in any way and dispensed only by a medical doctor. I believe it should not be grown, stored, or sold to anyone other than a person with a medical license.

A person I went to school with is fighting to make medical marijuana legal in our state because she wants to try it on her daughter who suffers horrible seizures. I understand her plight, but once you open that can of worms, you cannot close it. Without strict regulations, it will affect others negatively, even if legalized for medical use only.

For once I am happy I live in a state run by Republicans that are actually pushing to get tougher on pot possession! I know there will come a day when all of it will change and it will be legalized, and honestly I don’t know what the heck I will do, because it could drastically change my life negatively. I already don’t go out much due to my symptoms. I struggle most days just to be pain-free and “normal”. I know how pot directly and indirectly affects me, and it physically hurts & makes me sick.

No comments:

Post a Comment