Old Folks Set Up Medical Marijuana Club In Retirement Community


Photo: Todd Bigelow/Aurora for NPR
Laguna Woods resident Margo Bauer, 73, tokes up on the porch with her plant.

​​Residents of Laguna Woods Village retirement community have a new club to promote education on medical marijuana.

The Village Cannabis Club was started by Lonnie Painter, who also directs Laguna Woods for Medical Cannabis, a 100-member patient collective centered in the community, reports Claire Webb of The Orange County Register.
The main difference between the Village Cannabis Club and the patients’ collective is that any resident can be a member of the club regardless of medical status, while the collective requires members to have a doctor’s permission to use marijuana for medical purposes.

“We want the collective to be able to have a low profile,” Painter said.
According to Painter, the club will be a way for anyone to participate and learn more about medical cannabis.
Painter said the first meeting of the Village Cannabis Club, at which officers will be elected, will take place this month. The medical marijuana club will join more than 250 other clubs in Laguna Woods Village.
The club will provide residents with information on laws regarding medical marijuana, therapeutic effects of the herb, and the latest research.
After the retirement community’s controversial board decision to ban the growing of medical marijuana in community garden plots, Painter said he decided to have the club ultimately give a presentation to residents and board members to alleviate their concerns about cannabis, “so they can learn the issues of the collective and access to medical marijuana,” he said.
“We want to be able to give those directors information,” Painter said. “Those board members really had no idea of some of the issues involved.”