Setting Trends

May25

Written by:
5/25/2011 10:09 AM RssIcon

Although they might be surprised by the idea, many of today’s seniors are trend-setters. Actually, they should be used to it. During the 1960’s and ‘70’s, Baby Boomers championed bell bottoms, made The Beatles stars, went to Woodstock (or wished they had), and introduced America to organic food and to “pot”. Most of the Boomer generation is now nearing retirement, and the oldest—those born in 1945—are already beginning to retire. And they, and their somewhat older peers, are still setting trends.
Although they might be surprised by the idea, many of today’s seniors are trend-setters. Actually, they should be used to it. During the 1960’s and ‘70’s, Baby Boomers championed bell bottoms, made The Beatles stars, went to Woodstock (or wished they had), and introduced America to organic food and to “pot”. Most of the Boomer generation is now nearing retirement, and the oldest—those born in 1945—are already beginning to retire. And they, and their somewhat older peers, are still setting trends.

A recent report aired on WPEC, channel 12 in West Palm Beach, Florida on May 5, 2011, highlighted how a group of seniors there are using marijuana for medical purposes in defiance of state law. Florida is not one of the 16 states and Washington DC that allow the use of medical marijuana, but those older people featured in the report have discovered how effective cannabis can be as a treatment for pain, nausea, muscle spasms, and a host of other medical problems, and are going back to the future, growing their own plants, harvesting, and using medical cannabis. One of the women interviewed in the report called it “the new don’t ask-don’t tell”, an open secret among many of Florida’s older citizens.

Older people typically develop a number of different medical problems, some of which result from the aging process, such as degenerative disc and joint disease of the spine and degenerative osteoarthritis. Many others suffer from the effects of trauma such as sports injuries and accidents, or of surgery and other conditions that often resist conventional treatments but may respond well to cannabis.

In our practice at Amarimed of Colorado, we see many older people like those in Florida for whom cannabis is either a last resort when other treatments have failed, or an important adjunct. The average age of our patients is around 50, skewed somewhat by the age of our oldest patient, who is 101 and doing very well using cannabis instead of narcotics for pain.

According to the Channel 12 report, the experiences of those older Floridians with the medical uses of cannabis may soon translate into their using their considerable political clout to bring about the passage of legislation legalizing the use of cannabis for medical purposes in Florida. And if the trend-setting tradition of the Baby Boomer generation holds true, many other states will follow suit.

 

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