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Recruiting Seniors to Vote Pro-Pot

In press to legalize marijuana for medical use, the pro-pot advocates are finding new allies among senior citizens. They come with two very important attributes, things you might not find in a younger crowd. The first is they suffer a variety of illnesses, including aches and pains that marijuana might ease. The second is that they vote, and vote reliably. This demographic already has the ear of the legislators who will decide whether or not West Virginia joins the list of states allowing cannabis.

We don’t need to look far to see the ploy in action. An opinion piece in the Charleston Gazette is typical. Written by a 72-year-old, the appropriately titled “Legalize madical marijuana” (original spelling), says in part: ” If a doctor says it is a substance that will help out many in pain, it should be treated like any other prescription medication.”

Fair enough. Except doctors in general don’t prescribe marijuana as a matter of course. They do so at a patient’s request, and some do it as a money maker – running clinics devoted to signing up patients for medical marijuana cards with little in the way of medical care. Why would a doctor prescribe marijuana, when they have perfectly good medications, tested for quality and safety, available in standardized doses? Marijuana “treatment” harkens back to a more primitive form of medicine, the kind that herbalists in China still practice. Get a plant and figure out your own dosage. Oh, and the commonest way to dose it? Burn it and inhale the fumes. Is there any other “medication” that asks patients to pack a pipe?

Still, when seniors are presented with the stories of miracle cures, they are naturally curious and wonder if it will work for them. We can’t tell them it doesn’t work, and no studies have been done to demonstrate safety in seniors. But, the objection comes; there is no known toxic dose of cannabis! True. True, except one ought to be leery of giving a drug that makes people dizzy and mentally foggy to senior citizens – after all, falls are a real danger in this demographic.

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