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A Prescription for Cannabis?

Dear Hannah,

I am shocked and surprised that cannabis is now legal, both for medicinal and recreational use. As a 75-year old woman who suffers from anxiety, sleep problems and arthritis, I was wondering if I should talk to my doctor about getting a prescription. I feel sort of ashamed to even be asking the question. We grew up thinking that marijuana was a bad thing! How times have changed.

– Prescription for Cannabis

Dear Prescription for Cannabis,

Many seniors are becoming aware of the benefits of using medicinal cannabis. More seniors will become interested in cannabis as the stigma around the drug fades and more becomes known about its medicinal uses. Medical marijuana is gaining prevalence and popularity in the medical world. It is not the drug you can buy in the street, which may be improperly grown, infused with another drug, or not even authentic marijuana. Residents in care homes will be allowed to use it, but not as something to smoke due to existing smoking restrictions. It is available in many other forms.

You should consult your physician, as consideration must be given to the other medications that you might be taking. Cannabis is particularly effective in pain control, anxiety and as a sleep aid due to the CBD which is extracted from the drug. CBD is an anti-inflammatory compound. One of the primary uses of medical marijuana is to help cancer patients with nausea and vomiting while they are going through rounds of chemotherapy. While there are more than 100 chemicals (called cannabinoids) in marijuana, the two main chemicals used for medical purposes are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease. These chemicals can help treat a variety of diseases and medical conditions (

We are at the beginning of this chapter in medicine. Again, always consult your physician. (Derrick Penner, Expect more seniors to consider cannabis as legalization rolls around, Sept. 2018)


Dear Hannah,

I am a married man, age 67, a retired accountant. My wife and I have been married for a long time, our two children are grown and live in Ontario. We are comfortable financially, and recently downsized to a condominium. I thought that we would settle into retirement together but that is not happening. I started going to the gym and have made some new friends who are fit and athletic. Now I work out three times a week and cycle two times a week. I changed my diet so that I can build more muscle. Basically, I have changed my lifestyle. I want to compete in triathlons. I feel healthy and energetic. All of this is bewildering to my wife. She is happy having lunch with friends, going to movies and leading a sedentary life.

I might have 25 more years to live. I am increasingly unhappy at home and my relationship with my wife has deteriorated. I even have consulted a lawyer about a divorce. Am I crazy to contemplate divorce at age 67?

– Divorce at 67

Dear Divorce at 67,

You are in a difficult situation which must be causing you many conflicting feelings. The fact is that baby boomers are getting divorced. Grey Divorce is on the rise—for just the reason you mention: we can expect to live to 85 with some good luck. The rise in life expectancy causes us to re-evaluate our relationships. We’ve shed a lot of the stigma around divorce and it is easier to meet a new partner online or through mutual friends.

Eva Sachs and Marion Korn are the co-founders of Mutual Solutions, a mediation service to help separating couples make informed decisions on finance and social issues. They also wrote the book When Harry Left Sally:

Are you facing divorce after a long marriage or late in life?
“Grey Divorce” is so different that it requires a whole new way of thing.
Working out divorce without fighting and without court.
Ending the marriage with an understanding that each would be okay.
Earning and keeping the children’s respect.

Living longer with a higher quality of life means some people are expecting more from their later years. Perhaps speaking to a psychotherapist or family counsellor could assist you in sorting out your feelings and your expectations for the next stage of your life (Sierra Bein, Grey Hair on Rise in Divorce Courts, 23/07/2018).