Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)

New Zealanders recently voted to legalize euthanasia for the October general election ballot paper. The results are binding and the Act will come into effect 22 months from the final results on 6 November 2021. The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying.

On the other hand, New Zealanders simultaneously refused to legalize cannabis. (The Guardian Weekly, Nov 12, 2020)

My comment: To force someone in terrible pain or giving up on life, to soldier on in misery is totally counter to kindness and compassion – and Epicureanism. My own mother was in this situation, kept alive with drugs, unable to recognize my sister or me, and with no wish to live. The head nurse told us she could keep my mother technically alive, but her prospects were wretched; she would be a shell of her former self. My sister and I looked at each other and I asked the nurse to let her go. “Thank you”, said my sister, a committed, active Christian. “I agree”.

As for cannabis, the logic behind keeping it illegal evades me. Keeping it illegal elevates the prices, and encourages its theft or over-use. It is handy for helping you sleep and can help subdue pain. It should be regulated (as in the District of Columbia, where you have to have a license and a good reason for using it, supported by a qualified doctor. No problem.).

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