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Commentary: How do Utah lawmakers sleep at night, knowing medical marijuana could help so many people

I’ve been told I’m too sensitive my whole life. I feel like I cry at the drop of a hat these days, but for good reason.

So many people are fighting battles most of us know nothing about. We look at people and they look “normal,” but on the inside they’re fighting their own bodies every single day.

What is normal? Is it not waking up every day with excruciating headaches? Is it being to able to stand up straight without your back grabbing or your hip going out? Is it having full control of your mind and your body and not having your arms seem to have a mind and movements of their own? Is it a father not having to watch his daughter lash out and wither in pain from her epileptic seizures?

There is no normal now days, only pain.

Pain of people taking pharmaceuticals that aren’t helping them. Pharmaceuticals that are causing some of these issues. When you hit rock bottom after trying every other option, where do you go? Some people leave the state or find something illegally to see if it helps them.

Where is our compassion? Why do people who run this state actually believe they are above the people by not allowing patients to try natural medicine? Is there no compassion? How can our lawmakers sit there knowing how deeply people are struggling and not allow them to be able to try a plant to see if it helps them?

How do these people sleep at night, knowing they could have made this right a few years ago when Utah Sen. Mark Madsen introduced SB 73? I want to know how they honestly believe it’s OK to undermine a ballot initiative that has over 75 percent support from Utahns? It has reached a point where this is nothing but government overreach. Is this just the lawmakers trying to get back at the people of Utah for even considering a ballot initiative? Or is it them trying to show us they are in charge, not us simple-minded, everyday people?

It is deeply concerning to me that we have reached such a point in this matter that we have to pull out the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The people of Utah have made their decision. We all know someone or multiple people who are fighting their hardest fight against cancer, and losing. That mother who lies in bed at night holding her child crying with this foreign object in his body, just praying it would go away. Or a father who is losing his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

This comes down to compassion, genuinely caring about your neighbors. This is not a left or right issues, this involves everyone. We all have people whom we deeply love who are fighting the hardest battles of their lives. How dare anyone stand in their way to find some relief? Have we truly forgotten how to care about people? Or is this all about government and the lawmakers have completely lost sight of what is truly important?

Brandi Astle, Logan, is a mother, a scoliosis and chronic pain patient and medical cannabis advocate.

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