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.”

Approximately 5:45 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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  1. I hate to tell you but getting old people off their meds is probably the worst thing for legalized MJ. You don't want then Pfizer fighting against it, they will probably win.

    1. Maybe. The thing is, legalized--truly legalized for the whole country--pot would have tremendous potential for many things, some of which would be right up Big Pharma's alley, like doing research on THC and finding even more ways in which it is useful. It's when it's quasi-legal, and so Big Pharma is still afraid to go near it, yet it's competing with Big Pharma's products, that this is a problem.

      Once again, prohibition shows itself to be incredibly destructive.

      1. Weeds no good for big pharma. They can't charge as much for it or patent it.

        1. Weeds no good for big pharma. They can't charge as much for it or patent it.

          I'm tired of hearing this stupid line parroted, ad nauseum.

          Anyone with a high school-level understanding of chemistry can see that it's meaningless bullshit. Drug companies could still make a TON of money from cannabis.

    2. No, the worst thing about this is the guy with the hipster hat, earring, braided hair, tie, and sweater vest. Where's the knockout game when you need one?

      1. It's Bill Murray dressed as The Edge from the 80s

      2. They musta had a hard time selling him on MJ.

      3. I once considered buying a bowler.

        That's over.

      4. He's also a big supporter of the ban on recreational cannabis in California. Rent seekers gonna seek rent.

  2. Video: How Medical Pot Is Helping Seniors Get Off

    I don't want to see that.

    1. Dad's confused enough already.

  3. Fuckin' hippies, let 'em have their Mary Jane so they can flashback to the '60s when they thought they were doing all that shit accomplished by the previous generation 'cause they watched it on TeeVee.

  4. my neighbor's sister-in-law makes $76 /hr on the internet . She has been laid off for 8 months but last month her pay check was $17299 just working on the internet for a few hours. more information.....

  5. Great blog article about this topic. I just wanted to say my thanks for the information provided here.

  6. "Thank-you so very much for writing an important story about HOw Seniors would benefit if America Legalizing Cannabis. I am very interested in this topic because Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that nobody has ever died from cannabis. Mississippi has a grass roots movement to amend their constitution to legalize cannabis so that it is regulated like alcohol, and if passed in 2016, would allow seniors to try this alternative pain medication. Cannabis is the gateway to giggles and frosted flakes, and America is working on legalizing it. Thank-you for your story.
    Kelly Jacobs
    Sponsor of MS's ballot initiative to Legalize & Decriminalize cannabis

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