In Orange County, Baby Boomers Are Embracing Medical Pot - NBC Southern California
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In the Weeds

Marijuana in the Golden State and beyond

In Orange County, Baby Boomers Are Embracing Medical Pot

"I've done pain management, I've done shots, I've done it all and it's a ridiculous way to live when this can give you relief"

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    Seniors Sample Medical Marijuana

    Senior citizens took a trip on a bus to a medical marijuana shop in Orange County. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018)

    The wheels on the bus go round and round at least once a month for a group of baby boomers traveling from Laguna Woods to Santa Ana.

    Their destination: the Bud and Bloom medical marijuana dispensary. They've come not to relive the glory days of Woodstock, but to buy the type of cannabis that makes them feel good.

    Arlene Drenkhahn is looking for relief for the aches and pains caused by her arthritis. She is one of dozens testing the THC-laced lotions and potions at Bud and Bloom, which is marketing to seniors.

    "I've done pain management, I've done shots, I've done it all and it's a ridiculous way to live when this can give you relief," Drenkhahan says.

    Organizers say the free bus trips are designed to reach people who may not want to inhale marijuana. "A lot of people are used to taking pills and don't know all the options available to them using cannabis, so it's just education," says Melody Córdva, general manager at Bud and Bloom.

    About 90 percent of the seniors present are there for medical reasons; only 10 percent are there for recreational use.

    "My son thinks I'm a pot head," says a laughing Allyson Abbot, who is also a registered nurse and therefore feels she knows what she's doing.

    Some are suffering from glaucoma. Others want to sleep better. Many say the stigma of marijuana use was lessened when pot became legal in California on Jan. 1 of this year. They seem to agree that medical marijuana isn't the fountain of youth, but it helps.

    "I'm open to any of this," Drenkhahan says. "Why not? I'm 73 years old; what have I got to lose?"

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