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A Crackdown on Marijuana Could Have an Impact on the Elderly

The federal government could enforce laws against marijuana use resulting in a surprising impact on the elderly who use it to treat ailments.

A federal crackdown on the use of marijuana could have an unexpected impact, according to TheNew York Times in "When Retirement Comes With a Daily Dose of Cannabis."

A total of 29 states have now legalized marijuana for medical purposes. That has led to it increasingly being used by an entirely different demographic group. Elderly people are now using the drug to treat their own ailments, since it helps to relieve minor aches and pains as well as mental conditions such as depression and anxiety that can come with retirement and life in nursing homes.

This presents an interesting question about enforcement of federal prohibitions on marijuana use.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government was mostly hands-off and did not make much of an effort to enforce federal laws in states that had legalized the drug. However, new Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long been opposed to marijuana legalization. He has recently suggested that, under his leadership, the federal government might start enforcing the laws again.

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