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Can Smoking Pot Treat the Effects of Aging?

What's the Latest Development?

For many seniors, the cost of various prescription medications, frequently used to treat the symptoms of aging, are too high. The financial constraint which prescriptions put on seniors' fixed income, and the health effects of mixing different medications, make marijuana an option worth exploring for an increasing number of seniors. "Ailments ranging from chemotherapy side effects, arthritis, glaucoma, chronic pain and even malnutrition are being treated with cannabis, a promising alternative for seniors who are increasingly susceptible to the dangerous side effects and growing dependency of multiple prescription medications."

What's the Big Idea?

While California is the most progressive state at making medicinal marijuana available to seniors, and educating health care professionals about its legal status and use, the nursing homes where many seniors live typically receive federal funding. This places health officials who run nursing homes in a precarious legal situation since federal law still states that marijuana is illegal in any form. Even in California, specific guidelines on the use of marijuana in assisted living facilities is a work in progress. Industry workers say the vague and often nonexistent guidelines, as well as the perceived legal implications of a patient's desire to use medical marijuana have caused problems.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic

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