Granny Smokes Dope

In the United States, more and more older people are smoking cannabis, and they have good reason to

Increasingly in the United States, the hand belongs to someone age 55 or older. Photo: Torben Hansen

Increasingly in the United States, the hand belongs to someone age 55 or older. Photo: Torben Hansen

In the United States, almost half of people reside in a state where the use of cannabis is legal at least for medical purposes; four states allow it for recreational use. The most rapidly-burgeoning demographic of cannabis users is people aged 55 or older, with the number growing from 2.8 million to 4.3 million between 2013 and 2014: Granny smokes dope.

It’s better than opiods

Eldsters constitute but 14 percent of the population while consuming more than 30 percent of prescription drugs, with some painkillers being highly-addictive. Dr Igor Grant is highly unusual in that he has received federal monies to study the benefits of cannabis, which he believes will now occur more often: ?I so think we are turning a corner on that.? Cannabis can relieve the sharp pain that results from nerve damage, chemotherapy or diabetes. He agreed that it would be better if Granny smokes dope instead of taking opiods such as Vicodin because it is less addictive, making it safer, although not completely safe, which, as he pointed out, nothing in the world is. Cannabis could have ?an opiod-sparing effect? and Dr Grant remarked that further studies were required, although ?preliminary evidence suggests that may be true.” One who would have benefited from avoiding opiods was pop superstar Prince, whose recent death was due to abuse of the opiod, fentanyl.

Sue’s in favour

One granny who smokes dope and extols its virtues is 68-year-old Sue Taylor, once a secondary school principal, who has become known locally as ?the Weed Lady.? She does her extolling at community meetings in her home state of California, where medical weed is permissible. She opined that the premier motivation for her age group to take dope is to relieve pain and promote sleep when faced by arthritis. ?Seniors,? Taylor commented, ?don’t want to get high; they want to get well. And the cannabis helps.?

The governor’s in favour

John Hickenlooper is the governor of Colorado, the first state to legalise marijuana for recreational usage. According to him, ?seniors were probably the most adamant against it.? He originally also opposed the measure but has since changed his mind and believes that others of his age group will follow: “For seniors that want to kind of relax and don’t want to use alcohol, this is a choice maybe that they will embrace more than others.? He holds that this change of mindset will spread across the country.

And spread it will

Steve de Angelo, owner of Harborside, one of the largest medical cannabis dispensaries in California, pointed out that it was ?ironic, almost tragic? that seniors are the group most firmly against reform of cannabis laws but also one of the groups that would benefit most from it. He sees seniors realising the error of their ways and becoming positively inclined to the drug; after Granny smokes dope, she will advocate its use. ?And, you know, who wants to fight with their grandmother and their grandfather?”

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