Marijuana and the Elderly
Meet 81-year old Betty Hiatt. She smokes pot.
She is, at 81, both a medical train wreck and a miracle, surviving cancer, Crohn's disease and the onset of Parkinson's. Each morning Hiatt takes more than a dozen pills. But first.... Peering through owlish glasses, Hiatt fires up a cannabis cigarette with a wood-stem match. She inhales. The little apartment — a cozy place of knickknacks and needlepoint — takes on the odor of a rock concert.
"It's like any other medicine for me," Hiatt says, blowing out a cumulus of unmistakable fragrance. "But I don't know that I'd be alive without it."
The Supreme Court's decision on state medical marijuana laws is due any day. Raich v. Ashcroft will decide whether federal laws prohibiting all marijuana use can be used to charge those who take the drug for medical reasons in states with laws that allow such use.
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