In a Red state known for their gray hairs as much as their beaches and gators, access to affordable medicine is constantly an issue on the minds of the population. Which is why it isn’t surprising (to us, that is) to see as much as 84 percent of adults 65 and up supporting a medical cannabis proposal currently campaigning in Florida – who wouldn’t want to be able to grow their own medicine?
It also doesn’t hurt that the senior generation of today was the same that re-popularized cannabis use back in the 60s. Among Florida voters, 62 percent of those between the ages of 50 and 65 admitted to toking up at least once. No other age group came close to that much.
“What we’re hearing from older voters is not a lot different from the electorate as a whole,” Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United For Care, tells Florida Today. “For the most part, it’s not a controversial topic. … If their doctor recommends a particular treatment plan, whether it’s a medication regimen, a new diet, exercise, yoga or medical marijuana, they should be able to follow their doctor’s orders without being treated like a criminal.”
Of course, not every senior supports medical cannabis. Brevard GOP chairman John Anderson, 87, is a retired nurse who thinks he knows more about medical cannabis than patients and recommending doctors.
“The people who are talking have no idea about the pharmacology or the pharmaceutical-therapeutic dynamics of any drug, whether it’s aspirin or some fancy beta blocker,” Anderson said. “They’re just talking based on what they heard somebody say. … There are many people who think marijuana relieves pain. Marijuana is not an analgesic. You get more pain relief from an aspirin than marijuana, if you’re talking about it in that sense.”
As currently written on the petition, patients would qualify for a medical cannabis recommendation for conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and “other conditions” if the physician thinks the patient would benefit from it.
The laws would allow for medical marijuana patients to grow their own supply or assign a private caregiver to grow for them. The state would also regulate medical marijuana “treatment centers,” where patients could purchase marijuana in a retail setting. Details of the bill, including how much cannabis each patient would be allowed to possess would be left up to the state health department to decide if the bill is passed.