"But will you change minds if more and more seniors become comfortable with this?" asked Petersen. "Do you think that's going to force government to change its mind, the federal government?"
"We certainly hope so. I don't know if it'll be in my lifetime!" Kerry laughed.
Keep in mind that, even today, pot is still illegal under federal law.
- Marijuana law is catching up with changing attitudes ("CBS Evening News," 01/24/14)
- For insurers, no rush to offer pot coverage (02/24/16)
- Bill to legalize medical marijuana introduced in the House (CBS News, 03/14/15)
- Complete CBSNews.com coverage: Marijuana Nation
But in Colorado, the first state to sell marijuana for recreational use, its governor -- who once opposed legalizing recreational marijuana -- says he now sees
But in Colorado, the first state to sell marijuana for recreational use, Governor John Hickenlooper, who initially opposed legalization, now says he sees how it can work for those over-65.
"For seniors that want to, kind of, relax and don't want to use alcohol, this is a choice maybe that they will embrace more than others," Hickenlooper said. "
And THAT could tip the balance this fall when states across the country vote on legalizing marijuana. You can expect to see proposals to legalize marijuana on ballots nationwide (including in Florida, Maine and Nevada).
And as more and more seniors embrace medical marijuana, that could make a difference at the polls.
"How does that impact the perception, 'cause seniors seem to be people who vote more often and have some influence. Is it gonna have some effect?" asked Petersen.
"Well, that's an interesting point, and I think you're probably right," said Hickenlooper. "The perception against legalizing marijuana [was], you know, historically in this state when we passed it, seniors were probably the most adamant against it. And if more are using it, then that probably is going to change.
"And probably it won't just be in Colorado. It will probably change across the country."
This fall California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, may vote to approve pot for recreational use, making it even easier for pro-pot folks like Sue Taylor to get access to the drug they now consider a vital weapon in their battle against the aches and pains of aging.
"Seniors don't want to get high; they want to get well," Taylor said. "And the cannabis helps."
For more info:
- Sue Simon Taylor
- Professor Igor Grant, M.D., Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
- Rossmoor retirement community, Walnut Creek, Calif.
- "Reefer Madness" (1936) on YouTube
- International Cannabis Association
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Cannabis