Georgia is the statewide association of over 150 key not-for-profit and
other mission-focused organizations dedicated to providing quality
housing, health care, community-based and other related services for
older Georgians. The mission of LeadingAge Georgia is to represent and
promote the common interests of its members through leadership,
advocacy, education and other services in order to enhance each
member's ability to serve older Georgians.
The Coffey Break: Special Advocacy Issue
This abbreviated version of the Coffey Break is dedicated to engaging LeadingAge Georgia members in advocacy so we can leverage our collective voices on behalf of the well-being of older adults.
It's Time to Mobilize to Pass House Bill 324 Making Low THC Oil Available for Older Adults
How We Know it works:
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale, a LeadingAge member in New York blazed the way for introducing low THC oil (the up-to-date term for medical marijuana) to older adults. Under the supervision of Zachary Palance, MD, a geriatrician and the medical director of the 750 bed nursing home, residents were able to try the low THC oil for conditions such as intractable pain and other conditions allowed under the New York law governing the use of low THC oil. The residents found that it helped with the aches and pains that come with age. They found it helped not only with pain, but with the stiffness of Parkinson's disease and the seizures that are common with Alzheimer's disease. The leadership at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale was advised along the way by Michael Dor, MD, a world-wide leader in low THC oil research. Dr. Dor told us that they have treated over 48,000 individuals including older adults and have found low THC oil to be effective in treating cancer, intractable pain, PTSD, Chrohn's disease as well as neurological and gastrointestinal diseases. Click Here to read the full journal article regarding the Hebrew Home at Riverdale initiative.
Low THC Oil is Also a Viable Option for Helping Older Adults Get off of Harmful Opioid W. David Bradford, PhD, the Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the Department of Public Administration and Policy for the University of Georgia conducted an in-depth analysis of low THC and found that in the states that have it, the rates of use of opioids has decreased significantly. Abuse of opioids has become a national crisis and yet there have been virtually no tried and true methods of stemming the tide on abuse of opioids. Now, with physicians under scrutiny to tighten the use of opioids, some older adults are having a hard time accessing medications to treat chronic and acute pain. Read Dr. Bradford's article to have a better understanding of how low THC oil will help older adults manage pain and lower the use of opioids.
You Can Get Low THC Oil in Many States – But Not Georgia Georgia's laws allow for individuals with one of twelve conditions that include cancer, pain, advanced Alzheimer's disease and a host of other conditions to obtain a card that will allow them to possess up to 20 ounces of low THC oil without being arrested. The problem is that by law, you can't buy low THC oil or import it in Georgia. It's now available in thirty-one states but you can't buy it there and bring it back to Georgia.
The Challenge is Most Georgian's Don't Know That Low THC Oil Will Help Alleviate Pain, PTSD, and Will Help with the Anxiety and Agitation as well as Seizures and Sleep Disorders Common in Alzheimer's
Dr. Dor said that their studies show that low THC oil treats PTSD and yet veterans have not weighed in on House Bill 324. I asked a former commander of the Georgia American Legion why they haven't weighed in and he said that the VA is conducting research and everyone is waiting to see what the research shows. When I told him research in Israel has found it to be effective for PTSD he was surprised. And also, most older adults you serve probably have not yet heard of the benefits of low THC oil.
Engage Your Residents to Take Action NOW!!!
Please Share the Message with Older Adults You Serve that Medical Marijuana with Low THC oil May Treat Many of the Conditions That Come with Age:
(Insert the name of your community) is a member of LeadingAge Georgia, the association for 160 mission-based housing and service providers serving 127,000 older adults. LeadingAge is the trusted voice for older adults and is leading the way for the passage of Georgia House Bill 324 which will allow access to medical marijuana with low THC oil. While research in the US has been limited on the effectiveness of medical marijuana due to it being a schedule 1 drug in the US, research world-wide has shown it to be effective in treating cancer, pain, PTSD, Parkinson's disease, neuropathy, anxiety, sleep disorders and a host of other conditions. In New York, where medical marijuana with low THC is legal, the Hebrew Home conducted a limited study and their results were residents pain subsided, they had better quality of life and they started leaving their rooms and engaging in activities. We want that for Georgia but while our laws now allow a number of conditions to qualify to possess the oil, it is illegal to purchase or import the oil. Please join with us to pass House bill 324 to make medical marijuana with low THC oil available in Georgia.
House Bill 324 allows for cultivation of the plants for making low THC oil in Georgia and allows for licensing dispensaries so that the oil can be sold in Georgia. The bill passed the House with a two-thirds margin and is now in the Senate. The bill will be voted on in the Senate Regulated Industries sub-committee next Thursday.
Please help get the bill passed. Contact your state senator and say "I am ….. I am your constituent and I ask that you vote for House Bill 324 so that older adults can benefit from low THC oil. Click here to find out the name and contact information for your state senator.
Let's Go Viral: Take Your Message to Social Media Please post your efforts and message on social media – Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Feel free to tag us @LeadingAgeGA
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