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Activist Encourages Seniors to Embrace Cannabis

Seniors have entered the smoke sesh, and I’m not talking about school. 

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adults ages 65 and older are the “fastestgrowing age group of cannabis users.” Many seniors are trying marijuana to treat various health conditions, reduce pain, improve sleep, reduce stress or just out of general curiosity.

The recreational use of marijuana was legalized November 2023. Existing medical dispensaries will receive their licenses to distribute recreational marijuana by Sept. 8, 2024.

With recreational marijuana soon to be more easily accessible in Ohio, one marijuana activist is encouraging older adults to embrace cannabis. 

‘Mama Sue’ Taylor, a 76-year-old retired Catholic School Principal from Louisiana has been working to advocate for the use of cannabis in older adults. 

Photo provided via Mama Sue Wellness.

Taylor, who was once weary of cannabis herself, embraced marijuana when her son Jamaal proposed they work together in the cannabis business in 2008. Taylor, her son and daughter-in-law founded iCANN in 2009. Taylor had aspirations of opening a spiritual center, so this idea of infusing cannabis with spiritual practices was the perfect way to make her dreams come true. 

After trying marijuana herself, Taylor found many benefits of using cannabis.

“I believe in young people giving to elders and elders giving to young people. They need our wisdom and they need our knowledge. But elders can’t do that today. They are in too much pain and on too many pharmaceuticals. Cannabis can help them get off those drugs so their minds can clear up and their bodies can be free of pain. Then they can once again be those respected people of dignity who give wisdom back to the younger generation and the communities,” Taylor told Forbes in a 2020 interview.

Taylor is working to dispel the “Reefer Madness” her and many of her peers were taught growing up during the War on Drugs. She opened a dispensary in Berkley, California in February 2020, Farmacy, with the hopes of encouraging seniors to embrace marijuana and remove the stigma around cannabis use. The marijuana dispensary now has five locations in California, including shops in Isla Vista, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. 

Although her marijuana products are not available to purchase in Ohio, she is still encouraging seniors to embrace the benefits of cannabis use.

“Mama Sue’s Mission is to close a generational gap and help eliminate the stigma surrounding the cannabis plant. She’s seen firsthand the healing benefits received and is out to change the mindset of ‘reefer madness’ to one of curiosity and social acceptance,” a spokesperson said in a statement. 

For more information on Mama Sue, visit mamasuewellness.com.

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