Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Journal
Buddha of Compassion (2007)
Reviewed by Catarina Collins for Reader Views (1/08)
Chemo Sabe, a Buddhist priest, Christian minister and Viet Nam vet, shares his personal story as it relates to his work as a caregiver supporting patients in their medical use of marijuana. He also shares from a personal perspective, one who uses medical marijuana to help manage constant pain. This “Caregiver’s Journal” is unique from that perspective. “Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Journal” gives a brief overview of the use of marijuana in the treatment of patients for the past 5000 years, citing respected leaders in the fields of medicine, science, law, government, industry and business. It becomes clear from the beginning that many influential people, from Dr. Jocelyn Elders (former Surgeon General of the Public Health Service) to Nancy Pelosi (current Congresswoman and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives), believe there are proven medicinal uses of marijuana. In addition to the brief overview, the author includes information regarding federal and state laws and the status of current research, most specifically as it relates to the University of California. While much of the information contained in “Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Journal” is specific to California, it includes a wealth of information and personal stories to give anyone looking for the human side of a political and medical issue, a good place to start. Chemo Sabe also lists sources for marijuana seeds, plans and growing supplies, as well as instructions for growing, dosing, and cooking with medical marijuana.
The human side of “Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Journal” was very touching to read. I laughed, cried, and, by the time I was finished, wanted to reach out to those whose stories were shared. First, there is Sprite, a 21-year-old student and rock climber, who loses her leg to cancer and has to undergo a year of chemotherapy and her boyfriend, Skeeter, who stays by her the entire time. Then there is Star, a 27-year-old with Downs’s syndrome and aggressive terminal leukemia whose family drew closer as she reached the end of her life. Her story touched my soul and I shed tears reading of how her father held her when she died.
Other stories, like the ones of the Brothers Green and Molly Fry, and an update on Skeeter, brought a human touch to the legal side of the issues regarding medical marijuana growing. All of the personal recollections shared by Chemo Sabe will bring about thoughts to those who read it, thoughts of compassion, service, and, for many, activism. “Medical Marijuana Caregiver’s Journal” is a welcome addition to the library of all caregivers, patients, and needs to be shared with everyone with whom you come in contact. It is through the efforts of people like Chemo Sabe that the laws of the United States will change and patients will be able to use all resources available to them, legally.