s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, April 28, 2005

stupid question:

pot laws pain some elders - senior citizens who use medical marijuana to treat their ailments wonder why the federal government wants to just say no to them.

with the u.s. supreme court poised to soon rule on whether medical marijuana laws in california and nine other states are subject to federal prohibitions, elderly patients like hiatt are emerging as a potentially potent force in the roiling debate over health, personal choice and states' rights.

no one knows exactly how many old folks use cannabis to address their ills, but activists and physicians say they probably number in the thousands. and unlike medical marijuana's younger and more militant true believers, the elderly are difficult for doubters to castigate as stoners.

their pains are unassailable. their needs for relief are real. most never touched pot before. as parents in the counterculture '60s, many waged a generation-gap war with children getting high on the stuff.

a recent aarp poll found that 72% of people 45 and older believe adults should be allowed to use cannabis with a physician's recommendation. the poll found a similar proportion staunchly opposed to legalizing recreational pot. even conservative elders such as commentator william f. buckley and former secretary of state george p. shultz have supported marijuana as medicine.

an exhaustive 1999 study by the national academy of science's institute of medicine concluded that marijuana can help curb pain, nausea and aids-related weight loss. the study warned against the toxic effects of the smoke, but said cannabis could be given under close doctor supervision to patients who don't respond to other therapies.
easy answer: pharmaceutical companies aren't going to make big profits off an herb anyone can grow in their back yard and "red" politicians will exploit the puritan censoriousness of "values" voters with "just say no policies." if some ill and elderly people have to suffer, well that's just the price the "reds" are willing to pay for victory.
posted by Pudentilla at 6:40 AM |


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