Many seniors today have survived the days of sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll are now using more pharmaceuticals than in their youth.
During the sixties and early seventies, Woodstockers used marijuana and assorted hallucinogens as a way of expanding their consciousness, as well as flipping the bird at the establishment. Dope was part of their prescription for a new socio-political paradigm of peace, liberalism, free love, and anti-war.
Songs such as Puff the Magic Dragon(Peter, Paul and Mary, 1963) and Blowin' in the Wind(Bob Dylan, 1963) commented on the loss of innocence and the desire for peace, freedom, and no wars.
Influential thinkers, such as Aldos Huxley's in Doors of Perception, William Burroughs's in Naked Lunch and Alan Watt's in Joyous Cosmology fuelled the ambitions of Woodstockers to change things.
There is evidence that Cannabis has a history of use as a medicine, dating back to 2737 BCE. Cannabis is one of the 50 fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese medicine and has been prescribed for relief from a broad range of conditions including depression, pain, glaucoma, MS, HIV, breast cancer, and Lou Gehrig disease(ALS).
In the past, depression was seen as a psychotic illness treated with electric shock therapy, confinement to the looney bin and irreversible lobotomies to tame the brain, much as in the film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
Current research has changed the way mental illnesses are treated. Without this change, thousands of people with an altered state of brain chemistry, due to depression, would still be institutionalized.
The harm caused by smoking medical marijuana can be minimized or largely eliminated by ingesting it or using it in a vaporized form.
In the mid 70's, President Jimmy Carter was prepared to support legalization of medical marijuana. The next President, Ronald Reagan, declared war on drugs, lumping Cannabis in with cocaine and heroine as 'bad drugs' under the Controlled Substance Act.
A January 2010 ABC poll showed that 80 percent of Americans believed that medical cannabis should be legal in the United States.
In December, 2012, the government of Canada introduced legislation proposing that the distribution of prescribed medical marijuana will only be legally available through dispensaries approved by Health Canada.
Reliable sources indicate that in 2002, there were fewer than 500 patients in Canada authorized to benefit from the Marijuana Medical Access Program. That number has since grown to more than 26,000.
My view is that all drugs are poisons of some sort. The debate on legalizing marijuana for medical purposes continues.