Older Americans are turning to Medical Marijuana more than ever, but there may still be some legal complications.
Marijuana and related products have been getting increasingly popular as more laws are rolled out that allow recreational and medicinal use of the drug. And because of this, there is a larger demand for products like delta 8 gummies that can help people experience a slight high while also helping with things like anxiety and insomnia. But there is one demographic that not many people expected to embrace the legalization of marijuana – and that’s older Americans. According to the American Academy of Neurology, a new study from the Dent Neurologic Institute evaluated senior patients 75 and older for the effectiveness of medical marijuana on chronic aches and pains. The study tracked 204 elderly patients who had been prescribed medical marijuana to deal with pain through New York State’s medical marijuana program and found that 7 out of 10 patients experienced some symptom relief, half said their chronic pain diminished, and 18 percent said they slept better. With the growing popularity of medical marijuana, seniors are also more likely to buy weed online in order to treat their ailments.
With the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use in many states, including California, many are turning to cannabis to treat many chronic conditions and its use is increasing. Hopefully soon those states where it is still not legal, like Florida, will allow people to apply for a medical marijuana card through someone like NuggMD and start to enjoy the benefits of this natural treatment. A study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence suggests that increasing numbers of middle aged and older adults are using it, a lot-about 9 percent of U.S. adults between ages 50 and 64 used marijuana in the previous year, as did 2.9% of adults 65 and older.
Keep in mind, however, that the federal government continues to treat cannabis like every other controlled substance and does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational uses-it is a Schedule I drug along with heroin. Even in states where it has been legalized, federal employees regularly take a 12 panel drug test to prove they are not using drugs including cannabis.
As a result, be particularly wary if you are a marijuana user and decide to fly with cannabis. Within the U.S., it is illegal to carry marijuana in carry-on or checked baggage, and this includes infused products used for chronic pain such as Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Although the TSA is not particularly focused on trying to search for illegal drugs, if they do find marijuana or other illegal drugs during regular security screenings and procedures, it does refer the matter to law enforcement. Even if you are planning to carry it with you on an interstate road trip, transporting it across state lines is also illegal under federal law, even if you are going to another jurisdiction (e.g., Oregon), where it is legal.
Other complications in utilizing marijuana as part of your treatment can occur in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which must adhere to regulations under state law and federal law. Many of these facilities err on the side of being more restrictive and do not have protocols in place to allow residents to continue to use marijuana during their treatment.
Finally, given that the use of cannabis while treating chronic conditions is relatively new, it is important to be very specific about your wishes regarding its use in your Advanced Health Care Directive. Specifically, if you want your agent to be able to pursue medical marijuana as a treatment option for you, you should indicate that they have authority to do so in your legal documents. Alternatively, if you are strongly opposed to the use of medical marijuana as a treatment option, then you should specify this in your legal documents. If you would like to review your current Advanced Health Care Directive, or if you have questions about creating an Advanced Health care Directive, please contact the Law Offices of Lisa C. Bryant, INC. at (408) 217-2977 for a complimentary estate plan review.
All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about our firm, our services, and the experience of our attorneys. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may be subject to change without notice.