Let's focus on society's important issues

April 20, 2006

Joanne Dodge, Dover Community News (NH)

One major blessing I have found with growing old is many of my generation don’t get "exercised" over the little things that once seemed to be major issues. Our value system allows acceptance and, more importantly, common sense.

This morning, while reading the paper, I found myself shaking my head over one more bit of foolishness that our government is fighting - the use of medical marijuana. Senators, representatives, doctors, and lawyers are spending a great deal of money - yours and mine - on this issue.

The article referred to the Supreme Court saying, "the justices have come down against allowing the sick and dying to use the drug to ease their symptoms and possibly prolong their lives." Why? Is that really one of the most important issues that our government should be dealing with?

Many people use marijuana all the time. Always have and always will, and I’m sure those who are seriously ill are able to find it - if they have the money. What are we afraid of? Our own dear state of New Hampshire funds itself through the sale of legal drugs - alcohol. There are state-owned liquor stores everywhere, not only for our own residents, but they are posted at every entrance point to the state along the major highways. People load up on their way up country, and then load up again on their way back home. Great for the economy of the state. We don’t think twice about this, but doctors prescribing marijuana to a terminally ill cancer patient? Horrors!

Too many laws and too little common sense assail our minds every day. A young unmarried woman had a child and decided to give it up for adoption. The father of the child was notified and asked to give permission. He announced he wanted to keep the child, but he missed the deadline for filing the proper paperwork, so his child was allowed to be adopted. That was 18 months ago. He has not seen his child since. Mustn’t miss deadlines, even when they don’t make a lot of sense.

The older I get, the more I find myself shaking my head. We throw money at foolish issues while our seniors go without proper care, and children go to crowded schools and have to buy their own supplies. Children who face a future of being shuttled from foster home to foster home throughout their lifetime, cannot be adopted by a gay couple who can give them the love and stability to grow into useful productive adults. Unwanted children are thrown into the system, and we scream bloody murder at the growing tax bills to take care of them. Many survive this inhumane system, but for those who don’t, we again scream at having to pay for their care.

One thing that happens when we get old, we see the foolishness, frustration, and waste in our society. Someone has to see it and speak up or we won’t have a society for the younger generation to complain about.

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