Why you should care
Because not all who toke are looking to get high.
Whatever the fate of your candidate this November, one winner was certain: Weed won. Californians and Nevadans voted to make Mary Jane as accessible as alcohol — in designated areas, at home and for those over 21 — while North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana and even Florida moved to legalize marijuana for medical uses.
Some unlikely advocates helped lay the groundwork for the latest changes, fighting for access to medicinal marijuana to fight the aches and pains of illness and aging. In this special OZY video series, Dope Grannies, Charlotte Buchen explores the travails of California seniors fighting for — and some against — access to medical cannabis. For them, it’s about getting well in old age, not about getting stoned.
Watch all seven episodes through the links below or on OZY’s homepage.
Episode 1 Meet Sue Taylor, a former Catholic school principal and ordained minister who is fighting to obtain a permit to open a dispensary tailored specifically to senior citizens. Oh, did we mention she’s a senior too?
Episode 2 In the second installment, 87-year-old Palestine Tyson and her 94-year-old sister, Julia, try to figure out how exactly to buy medical marijuana after Julia’s doctor recommendation that it could help fight side effects from cancer.
Episode 3 Watch as Angela Frank tries to self-medicate with a pot cookie for the aches and pains of old age and illness. Like many other 90-year-olds turning to medical marijuana, she doesn’t want to get high; she wants to get well.
Episode 4 Ridgeway Smith is in hard opposition to a marijuana dispensary opening in his neighborhood. For many seniors in his neighborhood, a drug is a drug is a drug, and marijuana comes with problems for the community.
Episode 5 In this episode, Sue Taylor visits her mentor Steve DeAngelo, who’s the owner of one of the country’s oldest and largest dispensaries. She needs a pep talk after many in her community speak out against her dispensary at a community meeting.
Episode 6 Sue Taylor once likened cannabis to cocaine. Now she wants to run a dispensary. Watch her conversion from an opponent to an ardent medical marijuana advocate.
Episode 7 In the finale, Sue Taylor comes face-to-face with the Berkeley city council to see if she’ll win the fourth permit in the city to open a medical marijuana dispensary. It’s all on the line for Sue and her son Jamaal, who have invested their family’s savings into the venture.