Rolled joints for aching joints: More seniors are turning to cannabis
| By Associated Press
| The group of white haired folks — some pushing walkers, others using canes — arrive right on time at the gates of Laguna Woods Village, an upscale retirement community in the picturesque hills that frame this Southern California suburb a few miles from Disneyland.
There, they board a bus for a quick trip to a building that, save for the green Red Cross-style sign in the window, resembles a trendy coffee bar.
The people, mostly in their 70s and 80s, pass the next several hours enjoying a light lunch, playing a few games of bingo and selecting their next month’s supply of cannabis-infused products.
“It’s like the ultimate senior experience,” said a laughing Ron Atkin. The 76-year-old retired beauty products distributor was sitting down to watch the bingo at the back of the Bud and Bloom marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana.
Most states now have legal medical marijuana, and 10 of them, including California, allow anyone 21 or older to use pot recreationally.
The federal government still outlaws the drug even as acceptance increases.
The 2018 General Social Survey, an annual sampling of Americans’ views, found a record 61% backed legalization, and those 65 and older are increasingly supportive.
Indeed, many industry officials say the fastest-growing segment of their customer base is people like Atkin — aging baby boomers or even those a little older who are seeking to treat the aches and sleeplessness and other maladies of old age with the same herb that many of them once passed around at parties.
“I would say the average age of our customers is around 60, maybe even a little older,” said Kelty Richardson, a registered nurse with the Holos Health clinic in Boulder, Colo., which provides medical examinations and sells physician-recommended cannabis through its online store. Read more. Stonersville Hotel image: Michel Curi, CC BY 2.0