Silver-haired Hippies

My generation was part of the “hippie” movement: the free-love, LSD-taking, marijuana-smoking, counter-culture allure that spanned the U.S. in the 1960’s.

Forty years later…

An article by Peter Rowe in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, February 18th stated that from 2006 to 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported a 250% rise in marijuana use by Americans 65 and older.

The silver-haired shoppers aren’t using grass to get high. They’re more interested in getting relief from pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

However, because they’re concerned about the “hippie stigma” associated with weed, they don’t want their friends to know.

Dr. Mark Wallace, chair of the Division of Pain Medicine at UC San Diego Health said that when properly dosed, cannabis is often a better choice than more traditional painkillers.

Relief doesn’t have to be smoked: it can be consumed in brownies, cookies, gummies, or administered in tinctures.

“I see medical cannabis as a more conservative treatment than opioids, “ Dr. Wallace said. “I’m completely comfortable that it is safe.”

But, is it?

A friend called my attention to an article in the December 17, 2017 issue of the Los Angeles Times that said many marijuana dispensaries are tested for potency but not for pesticides.

Weed may contain not just pesticides, but also molds and other contaminants.


Donald Land, a University of California, Davis, chemistry professor is the chief scientific consultant at Steep Hill Labs, Inc., which tests marijuana in several states, cautioned that not all cannabis has been tested.

Alex Traverso, the Bureau of Cannabis Control spokesman said that any pot that hasn’t been tested will need to be labeled.

“That’s one of the biggest reasons for regulation: to establish rules that protect public safety and improve the quality of the product,” Traverso said. “When people see a sticker that says ‘Not tested,’ at least they know and they can choose whether they want to purchase that or not.”

Thanks for reading. (And you’re welcome to share my blogs.)

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                                                        Michele

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