Seniors, like many other demographics, can benefit immensely from cannabis. Here are a few groups dedicated to educating and advocating for them:
Grannies for Grass
This organization has grown to include chapters all over the United States and international locations in countries such as Canada, Denmark and Australia. There are 73 chapters across the globe (and counting). The group’s site (granniesforgrass.com) is an excellent resource and provides info about medical marijuana and the endocannabinoid system via informational videos. Grannies for Grass is affiliated with other like-minded groups and provides recipes on its site as well. The group is quick to point out that grandpas are also invited to get involved, as are non-grandparents.
Chartered by Congress in 1919 as an organization focusing on service to veterans, the American Legion has evolved into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. The American Legion’s national executive committee passed two medical-marijuana-related resolutions in 2016 and 2017. One calls on the DEA to license privately funded medical-marijuana research in the United States; the other calls on the VA to allow medical providers to discuss the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes with veterans, and to recommend it where legal.
Silver Haired Legislature
The Silver Haired Legislature advocates for seniors in several states across the country. All members are volunteers who serve without pay. Among the five priorities set this year by Missouri’s SHL is the legalization of medical marijuana in 2018. Walt Bittle, the SHL’s senate president pro tem, says that “to not provide one of the best medicines in the world is cruel and unusual punishment!” Bittle says that legalized medical marijuana should be “prescription-based only” and emphasizes that Big Pharma should not be in control.
The Florida-based Silver Tour is an education and advocacy group founded by Robert Platshorn, the former cannabis smuggler known as Black Tuna. After serving 29 years of a 65-year federal prison sentence, Platshorn founded the Silver Tour to educate seniors about medical marijuana. The group provides lectures and uses billboards, social media, and radio and TV advertising to spread the word that pot can benefit seniors. The Silver Tour is also working to assist the state in developing infrastructure to support recently passed pot legislation.
Sue Taylor is dedicated to educating and advocating for the health and well-being of senior citizens. Taylor is certified to teach California health-care providers about medical cannabis, and she serves on Alameda County’s Advisory Commission on Aging. She also travels the country, speaking to local officials and hosting seminars. This summer, Taylor will open the iCANN Health Center, a medical dispensary in Berkeley designed with the elderly in mind—a place where seniors can get advice about pot from their peers.
This feature was published in the July 2018 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.