The AARP is by far the largest organization representing older people in the United States. It boasts 38 million members and produces the two biggest circulation publications in the country. It is an organization that is widely known and well-respected in the retirement community and beyond.
So when AARP published a complete guide to medical marijuana and other aspects of cannabis for their members, many took notice.
The guide itself is multiple pages covering FAQs, CBD, where research stands and recreational marijuana. On the first page they cover some of the “basics,” like whether or not you can count on your doctor for help in navigating the cannabis world, how much more potent some marijuana is today compared to the days of yore and why older people still hide their medical marijuana use due to the continuing stigma that surrounds the issue.
As for their stance on medical marijuana, AARP was clear on that as well. “In March, the AARP Board of Directors approved a policy supporting the medical use of marijuana for older adults in states that have legalized it. The decision was based on the growing body of research suggesting marijuana may be helpful in treating certain medical conditions and symptoms. The policy also notes that decisions related to the use of medical marijuana should be made between a patient and a health care provider and appropriately balance clinical evidence of benefit and harm, the patient’s preferences and values, and any laws that may apply.”
Instead of being preachy and out-of-touch with the current practical realities, AARP’s guide is very straight-forward. Even when it comes to recreational marijuana, they basically just point out that older people are becoming more comfortable with using marijuana for fun, citing poll numbers and anecdotal evidence to back up their claim.
In fact, the overall theme of the guide seems to boil down to, “Hey, we know more of you are using cannabis for various reasons, here’s some basic information you may need going forward. Use it to go medicate and have some fun if you want to.”
The guide manages to do this in a day and age where it is almost impossible for writers not to editorialize on the subject they are covering, even when they feel they are being objective. And for information like this to be published by an organization with the reach of AARP is truly a monumental event when it comes to spreading information about cannabis, especially among the last demographic to put up any real resistance to cannabis law reform at all: older folks.