Finding Information for Senior Citizens
Obecians and beyond- I need your help! A few weeks ago a close friend of mine asked about medical marijuana dispensaries in the Hillcrest area. I pointed out a dispensary on University Avenue, not far from where we attend our weekly Buddhist meditation. I also tore out the back pages of the Reader which provide a pretty comprehensive list of locations and handed them to her.
It turns out that my friend was inquiring on behalf of an 84 year old acquaintance, a gentleman whose very mainstream primary care doctor wrote him a script for medical marijuana. The gentleman was suffering from chronic pain and insomnia, and even morphine was not giving him relief. He has a sharp mind and a good attitude and was willing to give medical marijuana a go, despite the fact that he had never used marijuana and his wife was not particularly supportive. His quality of life is in the tank and he has nothing to lose at this point.
He went to a dispensary not far from his home, after calling first. The door bell didn’t work on the nondescript building. He had to call again on his cell phone and someone finally let him in. This man was then faced with an absolutely confusing plethora of choices of medical marijuana that could be smoked, ingested or drunk. His primary care physician either didn’t take the time or have the ability to recommend sativa or indica just for starters, and the young guy at the counter really didn’t have a clue either. This was not a positive experience to say the least.
So the gentleman buys some marijuana tea, a marijuana peppermint patty and a marijuana candy bar without any idea about how much to use or what to expect. I spoke to him directly after I had scanned a number of sites online. I asked him to read me the ingredients on the wrapper and the recommended dosage. The information was not helpful.
C’mon. If we are truly supportive of medical marijuana, we need to have physicians who not only write scripts but provide as much guidance as they would for blood pressure medicine. And we need to have people working in dispensaries who have some basic knowledge about the different types of marijuana and the products they sell.
Readers- what would you recommend to your aging parent or grandparent who has never used marijuana before? Where is the information they can use to make an informed decision based on their medical needs? How do they approach the myriad choices presented to them in a dispensary? How can they designate someone to purchase marijuana for them? How do you tell them what to expect?
There are a significant number of people out there who have never been part of the “drug culture” but are either open minded or desperate enough to support our medical marijuana dispensaries. I don’t want to let them down. And their support is critical to rational medical marijuana laws. Thanks for responding!
PS- Librarians deal with this kind of question and it is the (retired) librarian in me that is putting this question out there to you all! Librarians unequivocally support good, informed information!