CALIFORNIA: My mother in law, Alice never attended college as a young person. She’s making up for lost time now though. Twice a week she packs a lunch and goes to the local community college for the Learning In Retirement series of classes. You might find your aging parent in class somewhere, too. She loves it. There’s Trials of the Century, taught by a retired lawyer. And then there’s Controversial Issues.
Last week, my husband, Mikol, who is a psychologist, was visiting her and he went along to class. The topic of the day was medical marijuana. The instructor led the discussion by asking the class, which consisted of about 50 seniors, what their experience was and what their opinions were on using medical marijuana. The group had many elderly retired professionals in it: doctors, lawyers, accountants and others. Some were not formally educated, though it appeared there were many thoughtful people of all backgrounds contributing to the discussion.
Mikol observed that about half the class shared positive personal experiences with medical marijuana, singing its praises as a pain reliever, stress reducer, and help for insomniacs.
The consensus was that medical marijuana is great and does not have the side effects of prescription drugs used for pain, stress and for sleep, say nothing of the risks and high cost of prescription pharmaceuticals. People reported being “strung out” on opiate pain medication until they started using medical marijuana. They got better relief and no addiction from marijuana, they said. Most felt it should be a mainstream remedy, not one that is in the legal hodgepodge that exists under our state and Federal governments.