Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Call It Like It Is – That Is All I Ask

I am a little bit frustrated today by a couple of things.  The day actually started out pretty good, just wanting a trim for my ever-growing long hair.  You see, I decided to let it grow, because one of the only things that I can donate since my body is “damaged” from chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is my hair.  While there many my age who would even love to have 1/4 the coverage that I currently have at our age, I am even more thrilled that it is less than 5% gray, my natural color.  So, I had no doubt, there would be much interest in my hair.

Now after carefully considering organizations to donate my hair through, because there are some that either do not donate all the hair donated, or worse, charge cancer patients who need the wigs that are made, I visited a salon who was connected to the organization that I had selected.

Then I received the news.  My hair, which is currently at its longest length prior to my cancer days, was not near long enough.  Now I know, it is natural to think a woman’s desire in length would require a longer donation, but I would have thought my length, which is now past my shoulders would have been more than enough for a young child or man.  Another five inches of length is required.

While some may consider my hair length “rock star” length, or “cousin It”, I have enjoyed the length in the back because it covers permanent damage from radiation therapy.  Alas, even I do not think I can last another five inches of length at this point.  So while I am waiting to get my hair “trimmed” a couple of inches to a more manageable length, I read an article across my Facebook feed from back in my home state of Pennsylvania, leading to my second frustration of the day.

The web site “Thedailychronic.net” headline read, “Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Blocked by Rep. Matt Baker”.  Of course, my blood immediately begins to boil, because I am a huge supporter of medicinal marijuana for patients.  There was a push for approval in Florida last year that just fell short, and the push has begun again this year.  There is hopes that a compassionate bill to help chronically and terminally ill patients find relief from the pains and discomforts they face every day.

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Senate Bill #3 passed the PA house overwhelmingly 149-43 making the medicinal use of marijuana legal in the state of Pennsylvania.  It was not happen if one Representative Matt Baker had his way threatening to not allow his committee to take up the Senate’s bill, EVER!  The PA Senate previously approved the bill 40-7.  And polling among Pennsylvanians showed well over 85% support of this tightly written proposal, Baker was simply against it.

Looking at Baker’s campaign contributions, you will see many, a lot, numerous, several, too many contributions from Big Pharm.  The same companies that make the expensive, addictive, and sometimes lethal painkillers and anxiety medicines which many patients cannot even afford.

Call it like it is.  Big Pharm loses out big time on profits if medicinal marijuana is approved because it will be less costly.  It certainly is not addictive and to my knowledge, has never killed anyone.  Not like the many opioids and antidepressants (you know, the ones that tell you flat out in their disclaimers with side effects “may cause thoughts of suicide” to name just one) that have resulted in the deaths of so many.

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According to Thedailychronic.net, Baker received over $37,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharm manufacturers, pharmacies, and drug wholesalers.  You cannot tell me that those contributions will not carry more power than the compassionate concerns of the people.

Fortunately, it looks like this bill will finally get to Governor Tom Wolf for his promised signature.  Finally patients in the state of Pennsylvania will finally have another method of relief from chronic and terminal illnesses such as Cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson’s, MS, epilepsy, Hungtington’s, Chrone’s, PTSD, seizures, sickle cell, autism, and of course chronic and severe pain.  Pennsylvania will hopefully be the next state to join others in making compassion a priority to its residents.

And Mr. Baker, if you wish change my opinion to convince me otherwise that you care about what patients go through, perhaps in your photo gallery, you might post other photos besides opportunities with a whole bunch of suits.  Try showing you care by being photographed with a constituent you want to deny relief to.  But all I see is the money you would be concerned about not getting for your re-election because your contributors are more concerned about losing profits.

Florida, you are up next.

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