Mary Jane

I'm a bit confused here and may need some help from others. This from the Australian.
Medicinal cannabis trial approved By Megan Saunders and Monica Videnieks May 21, 2003 THE nation's first trial of cannabis for medical relief will begin in NSW by the end of the year, a move that Premier Bob Carr said yesterday would stop decent people feeling like criminals.
On News Years day this year and old friend phoned with a bombshell that started with "I have pancreatic cancer and the doctors have given me 8 months at best." My friend and I go back forty years when we were young soldiers together and after his stint in the Army he settled in New South Wales and followed a career as a Systems Analyst. A couple of years ago his father died and subsequent to that his mother had a stroke. For the very best of reasons my friend, once married - now a bachelor, retired and moved to the North Coast to be near his mother. So he has left his social and professional infrastructure in NSW and now gets the death nod. For many reasons, one of which related to his being virtually alone, I decided to ensure he didn't die that way. I cared for him, paid his bills, kept his house, swapped 'old soldier' stories with him during the day and asked the medical staff to help him sleep at nights. "No man should be allowed to ponder his demise for too long over endless dusk to dawn dog-watches" I said. "Could you knock him out at night?" They did and he died with dignity 90 days into the year. We discussed marijuana and its use. My friend had a bit of the hippy in him and was an occasional user and while I didn't use it I had no strong opinions either way. As his time drew closer and pain and the indignity of a body that was failing, threatened to impact on everything, we spoke of using marijuana to camouflage the pain. My point is it was never necessary. Palliative Care nursing has made tremendous leaps over the years and my friend had no pain right to the end. His body was being infused with a cocktail of drugs that had been cleared for the purpose by government laboratories and they did the job. These drugs didn't just control the pain, they also controlled the mind and bodily functions. The drugs kept him coherent and able to organize his final posting and to say goodbye to friends with his mental facilities intact. There was no pain and no long 'dog-watches'. My confusion should now be clear. Why do we talk about using marijuana for palliative care when there are suitable drugs available. Why does Bob Carr, Premier of NSW, make an issue of allowing a trial of marijuana. The cynic in me makes me think he is 'buying' green votes or throwing some crumbs to his 'left wing' factions but then I've always though he was a reasonable chap - intelligent, well read and not normally involved with the more seedier side of politics. Could someone please explain?