How Medical Pot Is Helping Seniors Get Off (Prescription) Drugs
"Talk to almost anybody over 65-years-old and there’s a list of medications that they’re taking. And very often, the side-effects from those medications are worse than the symptoms they’re supposedly treating," says Steve DeAngelo of the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, California.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a monopoly on the legal supply of marijuana for research purposes. Because NIDA is more focused on studying marijuana abuse than its potential benefits, researchers in the U.S. have had difficulty getting their hands on marijuana to use in their studies. One notable exception is a research project initiated by the University of California in 2000. The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research has found that cannabis may offer benefits to people suffering from pain as a result of nerve damage, HIV, strokes, and other conditions.
The mounting evidence that cannabis has medicinal value is becoming increasingly difficult to deny. For example, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, was a medical cannabis skeptic when he wrote a 2009 TIME magazine article called “Why I Would Vote No on Pot.” After digging deeper into research conducted in other countries, Gupta changed his mind, saying, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my role in that.”
At the Harborside Health Center, Steve DeAngelo and his team are well aware that cannabis is an effective treatment for a wide range of health problems, including many of the ailments that afflict the elderly. The problem, however, is that seniors tend to be uninformed or misinformed about cannabis. So a few years ago, DeAngelo hired Sue Taylor, a retired Catholic school principal, to reach out to seniors in the Oakland area. As Taylor puts it, “I am here to remove the stigma of medical cannabis.”
Sarah Silverman’s ‘liquid pot’ vape pen a star on the Emmys red carpet.
Sarah Silverman flashed a vape pen filled with “liquid pot” on the Emmys red carpet Monday — but said later that she wasn’t high when she accepted her trophy.
"Flashed" might be the wrong word: She initially showed off the outside of her tiny gold bag on E!’s "clutch cam," which this year joined the network’s "mani cam" for the first time in giving viewers a closer look at stars’ nails and accessories. Giuliana Rancic then took Silverman’s bag from her and started rummaging around in it.
Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state, is known in these parts as the mother of marijuana legalization. She drafted Initiative 502, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 2012; the measure struck down prohibitions on recreational pot use and led to the creation of Washington’s marijuana market.
On Tuesday, she helped inaugurate Seattle’s first legal pot retailer, buying 4 grams of O.G.’s Pearl at Cannabis City in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, after giving a rousing speech about the evils of prohibition and the benefits of decriminalization:
“What we are tackling today is the supply side of the equation. We’re moving marijuana out of the shadows, regulating it for consumer and community safety, dedicating new tax revenues to keeping kids healthy and keeping them in school. We’re finally taking marijuana out of the criminal justice system and treating it as a public health issue.”
The day before the doors opened, Holcomb talked to the Los Angeles Times about how the new market will work, worries about shortages, and what the Evergreen State learned from Colorado, which began selling legal recreational marijuana on Jan. 1.