The pain goes away, he sleeps like a baby, and he smiles all day.
Stephen Poisson was among a couple dozen people attending a seminar Tuesday touting the health benefits of marijuana for seniors, but he didn’t need convincing.
“I use it because I’m getting old,” said Poisson, 73, a retired ironworker living at The Shoreview at Riverside. “I have arthritis and my neck is sore constantly. If I do my oil in the morning, I go through the whole day with a half-ass smile and I feel better.
“I actually feel physically better. It really doesn’t wear off because I go to bed at night, I might take just a tenth of a gram. Zonks me right out.”
The way cannabis works in the human body is it regulates everything
Dr. Christopher Blue, one of a small number of Windsor doctors prescribing cannabis, hosted the seminar at Shoreview.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” he said. “We just want to update the public and keep them informed with this as a form of treatment.”
Erin Charney, Shoreview’s director of Wellness and Care, said the seminar was meant to reduce the stigma around medical cannabis and show people its positive effects.
She said Shoreview decided to host the session after receiving repeated questions about medical cannabis.
“This is something that is not going to go away,” said Charney. “It’s only going to get greater and there are so many benefits to it.”
Blue said most people don’t realize how long that list of benefits really is.
“The way cannabis works in the human body is it regulates everything,” he said. “It almost works as a thermostat for all your physiologic systems. It brings everything back into a balance. So it can slow things down or speed things up. That can help, depending on what disease we’re treating.
“Certain strains of cannabis have very strong anti-inflammatories. For treating aches and pains, it can help with that. Certain strains can help with sleep and other underlying psychiatric disorders.”
Michel Claveau said his 82-year-old mother, Lina Fournier, recently starting taking cannabis oil for dementia. Claveau said the retirement home where she lives has called the police several times to deal with her when she acts out. She’s even ended up in handcuffs.
Pharmaceutical drugs didn’t help, he said. But after Blue prescribed cannabis oil, Claveau said things changed.
“She’s not agitated,” he said. “She’s relaxed, and I can talk to her more. Before, she got upset. She was easier to trigger.”
Poisson was a much earlier marijuana convert. He said it grew along the fields of the farm where he grew up in Puce. He started smoking it at age 10 after seeing some “hippies” who had come on to the property to take some. They rolled him a joint.
“My brother and I got the giggles. We got back to the barn, said that’s right on and we went and got some more.”
He’s still using it six decades later, but for different reasons.
“It’s brought my aches and pains down to a minimum,” said Poisson. “I even wake up in a better mood. It just helps you grow old.”
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