Cannabis Social Media Website for Senior Citizens?

The cannabis community is rapidly expanding but I don’t think anyone could predict this latest addition; a social media website geared around cannabis smoking senior citizens.

A group of senior citizens have organized their own social network to discuss cannabis. The goals of the Seniors 420 Network include finding friends, identifying business opportunities and organizing to challenge laws against cannabis. The group is founded by entrepreneur and Detroit native Catherine Masters.

“We’re a very vibrant group of people who truly understand the value marijuana gives us. Most seniors are on way too many meds and marijuana gives us an alternative to them.”

Currently the group communicates through a newsletter, but a fully functioning website is the end of the year goal for 2016.

Senior citizens are often on multiple medications due to health issues that accompany old age, but often times the side affects are worse than what they treat. A social network might be just the tool to help seniors transition from their pharmaceutical drugs to all natural cannabis alternatives.

After all, there are new strains, edibles and extracts that treat a myriad of ailments and it can become quite overwhelming for any new patient to navigate the brand new world of medical cannabis.

If you consider it an effective alternative than you should treat your ailment with cannabis. This goes for everyone. The side affects of cannabis are nearly insignificant when compared to most prescriptions. Even if you are unable to mitigate all of your symptoms, reducing your intake of prescription pills will reduce strain on organs such as the stomach and liver.

Only losers look at medical cannabis patients like they are just taking advantage of some form of legal drug use. But isn’t that what alcohol is? Anyone who has taken the time to educate themselves, even to a small extent, will realize that the stigma surrounding cannabis is nothing more than a fog of misinformation and fear propaganda.

Check out these three grannies who tried weed for the first time.

Top Army Doctor Skeptical of Cannabis Treatment for PTSD

Lieutenant General Nadya West is the US Army’s top doctor. She is also skeptical of the medical benefits of smoking cannabis for PTSD saying, “It’s been found that using marijuana has a lot of adverse health effects.” – adding that it’s carcinogens make it worse than tobacco. Ironically the number of people who die as a result of their tobacco habits is exponentially greater than of those who smoke cannabis.

The Department of Veterans Affairs agrees with her and continues to propagate the idea that Cannabis can be harmful to individuals with PTSD.

From VA.gov.

Controlled studies have not been conducted to evaluate the safety or effectiveness of medical marijuana for PTSD. Thus, there is no evidence at this time that marijuana is an effective treatment for PTSD. In fact, research suggests that marijuana can be harmful to individuals with PTSD.

The real problem with this logic is that everything can have adverse health effects. If you decide that fast food is the best diet to follow, the adverse side effects of that lifestyle choice is going to be obesity and the health problems that come with being overweight. In fact more people are dying from the drugs that military physicians are handing out like candy than they are from using cannabis to treat their mental health issues. So it would seem that an adverse health risk of taking the medicine that General West recommends is death.

It’s a sad day when the Army’s top physician is coming out against a plant that is naturally helping to reduce the effects of un-treatable PTSD and easing the transition from military to civilian life. In an environment where it’s all about the person on your right and on your left, Senior Brass downplaying the effectiveness of alternative medications is sure to leave the troops in their care feeling like the upper echelon cares less about their well being and more about being politically correct.

Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance Gives Free Cannabis to Veterans

In the back parking lot of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7263, over 100 veterans had lined up to get a brown paper bag filled with cannabis. While waiting they chatted among themselves and lounged in camping chairs.

At the front of the line, greeting veterans as they passed through, was Aaron Newsom. Newsom, a six year marine vet and co-founder and vice president of SCVA, says their motto is “Plants not pills.” And with 68,000 veterans suffering from opioid addiction – roughly 13% – alternatives to the dangerous and addictive medications are being received with open arms.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription pill overdose deaths have surpassed cocaine and heroin combined.

“What veterans need, what everyone needs, is alternatives to prescription medications. Not just narcotics, but also the wide range of antidepressants and their negative side effects,” Newsom said.

Not only is Aaron a Marine veteran, he also treats his combat related PTSD with cannabis. Jason Sweatt, the SCVA co-founder, is also a patient – and together they are on the front lines trying to save lives and educate people. In order to accomplish their mission, every third Monday the SCVA meets behind the Live Oak VFW building to freely distribute natural alternatives to prescription opioid medications.

In order to provide veterans with their medication for free the SCVA cultivates their own cannabis and donates a portion of it to card carrying patients with PTSD and then sells the remainder to established dispensaries in the surrounding areas.

Timote Peterson is one of many success stories that can be directly attributed to Newsom, Sweatt and the SCVA. Addicted to pain pills for nine years Peterson described his detoxification off Oxycontin as worse than kicking heroin.

“Medical marijuana is not perfect. It isn’t that effective for really acute pain, but it is a damn sight better than most the other stuff they prescribe to you,” Peterson said.

As of now there are no smoking gun scientific studies that evaluate the safety or effectiveness of cannabis as a PTSD medication, but that isn’t stopping a principal investigator at the Department of Veterans Affair’s Substance and Anxiety Intervention Laboratory in Menlo Park from donating time to conduct a 6 month study of the SCVA. 

“We’re using written questionnaires to assess their PTSD and sleep over time. We’re also having the marijuana that the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance distributes tested by SC Labs,” Bonn-Miller said

While MMJ is an important factor in the SCVA, it’s not their only focus. They are also a support group for the veteran community, whether you are a patient or not.

We want to create a place for veterans to speak about their combat experiences and the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis, specifically as it relates to the traumas of war,” said Newsom. “Veterans commit suicide, often due to chronic pain, at the rate of nearly two dozen a day. That’s unacceptable.”

To join the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance you must be a military veteran, California resident and have a valid state medical marijuana recommendation from a doctor. For more information, visit scveteransalliance.com.

Arizona Cannabis PTSD Study Seeking Veterans

Arizona researchers are currently seeking 38 veterans to undergo clinical trials to determine the medical benefits of cannabis and its effects when used to treat PTSD. Another 38 veterans will be studied at John Hopkins in Baltimore.

The study has been federally approved by both the FDA and the DEA and marks the first time that a randomized controlled research project, intended to develop the actual cannabis plant, has been approved simultaneously by both.

If the research proves that cannabis is successful in the treatment of PTSD the goal would then be to seek FDA approval to prescribe cannabis plants to anyone with PTSD.

In order to be considered for the study one must suffer from chronic, treatment resistant PTSD; as well as be in generally good health with no disabling medical problems and have transportation to the Deer Valley area of Phoenix at least once a week for the 12 week duration.

Not everyone will be studied at once. The plan is for staggered groups to be studied over a two year period. Participants will be compensated but the particulars of that information is still confidential.

Participants will have to smoke twice under supervision to assure the research team they are not going to have an adverse reaction to the plant. Then they are sent home with roughly a half ounce to smoke whenever they want. Participants will have to journal their experiences, wear a special watch to determine quality of sleep and return to the clinic once a week for follow ups.

After smoking one strain of cannabis for three weeks they will take a two week break to determine symptoms of withdrawal, then switched to another strain. The process lasts 12 weeks with a six month follow up process which consists of meetings and phone calls.

The cannabis being used is less about strain and more about content. Participants will smoke a strain high in THC, another high in CBD and a third with moderate levels of both – as well as a placebo

However some of those involved are skeptical about the quality of the cannabis provided, but Dr. Sue Sisely says its the only legal way.

“A lot of veterans are arguing this study is sabotaged from the beginning because we’re not letting them access cannabis they normally would,” she said. It is the only legal option available for now.

Sisley says she knows firefighters, police officers and veterans who successfully use cannabis for pain management and psychological relief, but until there is a randomized study, the insurmountable anecdotal evidence isn’t enough to make a judgement from.

Anyone wishing to participate in the study should send an email to arizona@marijuanasites.org.

Within a month or two, Arizona researchers will accept applications for 38 veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder to participate in a study in north Phoenix on medical marijuana’s effects on the disorder

Charges Dropped After Violent Controversial Cannabis Raid

Khadir Cherry was arrested for distributing cannabis. Four days later officers with Durham Police Department’s HEAT (High Enforcement Abatement Team) knocked on the door to conduct a “knock and talk”, a tactic used when there isn’t enough evidence to procure a warrant, but the police still want to try to enter your house.

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