Cannabis Stigma Keeps Seniors on Meds

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The stigma of cannabis use is a powerful force among seniors. It’s keeping many of them on meds. Sure, there are more boomers and seniors trying cannabis every day but the majority are sticking to their meds. Why? Because along the way, on their journeys, they’ve seen cannabis vilified, made illegal, and portrayed by the government and media as something only “bad people” do. No wonder they deal with cannabis stigma.

Now, seniors are grandparents, retired, and for many, living on a fixed income. For some, they see their doctors more often than they see friends and family. They grew-up trusting their doctor’s opinion on what’s best for them and the doctors never said “cannabis”. So, to them, cannabis stigma is a real thing.

Statistics show that among active medical cannabis users in the US, only 19% are 65 or older. Americans between the ages of 50-64 make up 32% of regular users.

Pete and Rosemary Johnson – courtesy Peter Cox | MPR News

Meet the Johnsons

Rosemary and Pete Johnson are seniors who live in Owatonna, MN. It’s a town of approximately 26,000 people, about an hour’s drive south of Minneapolis. Like many seniors, the Johnsons have their assorted aches and pains. Rosemary, who’s 72, has it a little tougher, though. She’s been diagnosed with lupus, Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia and scoliosis. She has always thought of cannabis as being a bad, illegal drug. Pete is her husband. He’s seven years younger and isn’t as bothered by the cannabis stigma. You see, he was around it occasionally back in his college days.

“I don’t even know if I even know what it smells like,” she said. “Because I never did drugs or anything like that when I was in high school in the 60s.”

Rosemary Johnson
One the cannabis meds Rosemary takes. – Peter Cox | MPR News

How the cannabis stigma ends

About a year ago, things changed for the Johnsons. Rosemary was experiencing more pain and the meds weren’t doing the job. Minnesota had just launched its medical cannabis program and her kids pushed her to try. As you can imagine, she was reluctant at first but went ahead and got enrolled in the program. She wasn’t sure if it was working for her but after going without it for a couple of weeks at one point, she realized how much it was doing for her. She now has three different formulations of CBD/THC medical cannabis pills in her refrigerator.

So, as you can see, seniors can overcome the cannabis stigma. You can too. It starts with education, information and conversations. Let’s all do our part to make cannabis a stigma-free alternative for everyone.

Read more about Cannabis In Real Life’s cannabis stigma coverage.

Are you senior who still faces the cannabis stigma? How do you deal with it? Share your Cannabis In Real Life thoughts and experience. Email us. Or, use our Contact or Comments section below.

Click here to view original story: www.mprnews.org

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