Friday, February 26, 2010

Meet Jane Doe: She's 100 - and stoned

Meet Jane Doe. She's a spry, kindly woman who turned 100 today.

Jane credits her long life to her deep faith – she attends church
regularly. She takes a two-mile walk each morning, and she likes to knit
and read. By the way, she smokes two marijuana joints a day.

If today were Feb. 26, 2060, and a recent report pans out, Jane Doe
might turn out to be your typical baby-boom centenarian.

According to the Associated Press, pot use is rising among the
nation's elderly, and the trend could continue as baby boomers
transition from middle to old age.

The AP reported that that the number of people 50 and older who use
marijuana grew from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent between 2002 and 2008.
The biggest rise was in people 55 to 59-years old, where pot use has
gone from 1.6 percent to 5.1 percent.

We can't say we're surprised, nor can we say we're happy.
After all, the baby boom generation announced itself by loudly demanding
its Maypo, and then graduated to fancy toys, cars, sex, drugs and mutual
funds that would grow forever.

But we have to ask: Doesn't anyone remember St. Paul's comment
about putting away our "childish things," or the fact that pot
is still illegal, and its marketing and distribution produces pain,
violence and misery for thousands of people?

We suspect the trend is going against us. Massachusetts has
decriminalized the personal use of marijuana, and Los Angeles reportedly
has more medical marijuana clinics than Starbucks.

And it looks as though marijuana can ease the pain of cancer patients
and people with other ailments.

Who knows? By the time Jane Doe really turns 100, pot may be legal and
our great-grandchildren will be wondering what the fuss was about.

Still, we prefer to face our golden years with the grace and dignity
that befits our age and not with a joint and a brownie

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