You have to admit, older people have gotten a raw deal when it comes to cannabis. They grew up being pummeled with the lies of prohibition, how marijuana will give you cancer, kill your brain cells, turn your lungs black, lead you to harder drugs and to a life of depravity on the streets of the nearest ghetto.
Older people have lived the longest under prohibition and until the rising popularity of the Internet put it in most homes earlier this century, they had little recourse when it came to finding out the truth about cannabis. When they were younger, police, teachers and doctors all told them the same thing: marijuana is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. And these were the people they were told they could trust by their parents; the people who would never lie to them and only had their best interests at heart.
But many seniors are finding out that they were lied to. Those who are computer-savvy enough to research the issue for themselves are realizing that the things they were told growing up were just outright lies. Imagine being in your 60s or 70s or 80s and just now realizing that all the things you were told about something were wrong.
But the injustice doesn’t stop there. The thing they were lied to about would have been greatly beneficial to them for so many things. Many ailments they suffered from during their lives, ailments that have only gotten more pronounced and more painful as the years have piled up, could have been helped by this medicine.
Sadly, many people have passed away never knowing the truth about cannabis. Maybe just as sad, many have learned the truth but have been unable to overcome the programming of their youth to try cannabis. Some are just too scared of prohibition and what might happen to them if they choose a safer alternative.
But there are some who learn the truth and are in a position to do something about it. They realize that they may have missed many years without cannabis, but they don’t have to miss any more. Some are lucky enough to live in a state where they can get their cannabis legally; unfortunately some don’t, but they don’t let that stop them from getting a better medicine; some refuse to waste any more time.
One of the people who refuses to waste any more time, despite living in a state where there are no legal protections for medical cannabis patients, is Diane F. Diane is 64 years old and recently discovered what cannabis had been able to do all along.
The Marijuana Times: What ailments do you use cannabis to treat? How do these ailments affect your daily life?
Diane F: Oh, there are so many. Mainly I suffer from arthritis in just about every part of my body. Every day brings a throbbing pain and every activity highlights to me just how much soreness I have. Changes in the weather makes it worse and I get very stiff from sleeping every night. Cannabis makes me feel looser and takes away a lot of the soreness. Not all, but some, and that’s a great relief.
MT: What were you told about cannabis growing up?
DF: My parents really didn’t talk much about it, it wasn’t really well known in the 1950s. All I remember is when drugs were brought up we were told to stay away from them. Pot didn’t become a thing until I was in my late teens and I remember my dad railing against the “damn hippies” and talking about how Nixon was going to fix everything the “f**king Democrats” screwed up. I tried it sometimes, especially if the guy I was with was into it, but I never thought it any different than drinking wine, until a few years ago.
MT: What do you have to go through to obtain the cannabis you use and how does it make you feel to have to rely on the illegal market?
DF: It’s scary. I have family that help me find what I need, and they have put me into contact with people who sell. I like to think that the police won’t bother an old lady, but stranger things have happened I guess.
MT: What is your preferred method of cannabis ingestion and why?
DF: I have a little portable vaporizer that was given to me by a family member. I’ve tried joints and stuff before, but the vaporizer seems to hit smoother and is easier on my lungs.
MT: How is your life different now that you have found cannabis?
DF: I wish I would have “found” it sooner. I used to take a lot of pills my doctors said would help with everything, but they really just made me sleepy when they weren’t making me nauseous. Pot makes me sleepy sometimes, but I’m still able to get around and run errands if I need to.
MT: What prescription drugs, if any, were you able to stop using because of cannabis? How does cannabis work better than the prescriptions?
DF: To be honest, I couldn’t tell you most of the names of all the stuff I had to take over the years, not to mention all the Tylenol and Aleve. But I’ve gotten off most of it, but I still have a couple prescriptions that help me sleep, like Gabapentin. Like I said, I can get around much better with cannabis, and it doesn’t leave me groggy like the pills do.
MT: What strains have you found to helpful to your specific ailments?
DF: The guy I get it from calls it “that good s**t,” that’s all I know. It’s kind of a running joke where he tells me to be careful with this new batch, it may be too strong.
MT: Have you had any encounters with law enforcement over your cannabis use?
DF: Thankfully no, and I don’t plan on it. I’ve never been to jail and I don’t think it’s something I want to experience at my age.
MT: Are you involved in any sort of activism in your area or state?
DF: I know people who are, but I don’t do a whole lot on social media and I’m not the type to go testify in front of the state legislature. But I see things are changing and that makes me proud that young people still have some spunk and they get out there and make things happen.
MT: Have you ever thought about moving to another state to gain better access to medical cannabis?
DF: Not really. I’ve lived here all my life and am pretty settled in my ways. I suppose if I had a reason to I would consider it, but I haven’t really considered it so far.
MT: How important is it to you that legalization comes to your state?
DF: I think it’s important for legalization to come to every state. I may never see it, but I know first-hand that it can help a lot of people. And now with all the information that is available, there’s no excuse. People are hurting for no reason.
Are you a medical marijuana patient who medicates illegally? I want to tell your story (anonymously, if you prefer)! Email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you our set of questions.
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