Selma Yeshion, retired and 83 years old, considered cannabis a dangerous drug, both addictive and a gateway to the consumption of hard drugs. But that, was before...
In April, she attended a conference organized by The Silver Tour in a synagogue in Florida. This association aims to persuade the elderly of the benefits of cannabis, especially for treating chronic pain and insomnia. To support this approach lawyers, doctors and patients explain, testify and answer questions.
Selma has come around. "I want to try cannabis", she says with the smile on her face, "it would be good for my back pain. "
Silver Tour is new. It was founded in 2010 by Robert Platshorn, who spent nearly thirty years in prison for marijuana trafficking. Upon his release, he did not want a career in hemp. But he had many meetings with elderly patients who could have mitigated their pain with the aid of medicinal cannabis.
The problem is that the movement of marijuana isn't aimed at senior citizens. Currently 17 states and the District of Columbia have already voted laws favouring the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Several studies have been conducted, and the Institute of Medicine commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy highlights the benefits of this plant among other things: help relieve pain, reduce nausea and stimulate appetite. But he also notes the adverse effects such as loss of motor skills and dysphoria, discomfort, etcetera.
Jeff Clemens is a candidate for the position of Senator in Florida, and he take the study results as well as the testimony of patients into account. He stated that if elected he'll reintroduce the legalisation bill in 2013.
The reaction of the people who attend Silver Tour conferences are overwhelmingly positive. Speakers include a broker from Fort Lauderdale who legally smokes 10 to 12 joints a day. As a patient treated with state grown cannabis, he smoked for 30 years. In no way has it affected his capacity to analyse the market and work the numbers of his stressful job. "On the contrary," the speaker said. "Marijuana enhances my work. I'm much calmer. "
Many are sceptical about the idea of smoking cannabis, but the response to this concern is that there many ways to consume it such as through vaporizing, lollipops, cupcakes, oily solutions, tablets, drinks - and so on.
A few reactions from the attendees:
- "It's unjust to deny treatment to people whom would greatly benefit from it. " 76 years old
- "If it was legal, I would consider taking cannabis to fall asleep" 85 years old