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Thousands of California Senior Citizens Heading to ERs for Cannabis-Related Issues

Thousands of California Senior Citizens Heading to ERs for Cannabis-Related Issues

Medical professionals anticipate that more senior citizens will be using pot in their golden years, with a spate of intended and unintended consequences.

A new study by University of California-San Diego researchers indicates that thousands of the state’s senior citizens are heading to emergency rooms for cannabis-related issues.

According to the study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, just 366 Californians over the age of 65 visited ERs in 2005 for cannabis-related concerns.

By 2019, that figure had skyrocketed nearly 3200%, when 12,167 seniors made trips to emergency rooms for that reason.

The increase in these cases is causing concern among medical professionals.

“It’s troubling,” Dr. Michael D. Levine, director of medical toxicology at UCLA Health, told The Post. “It corresponds to an overall increase in drug trends and increased marijuana use over the past decade. And I think it’s problematic for multiple reasons.”

At UCLA Health’s Toxicology Clinic in Los Angeles, where Levine has treated many pot-impaired elderly patients, some were so stoned they didn’t even realize why they were seeing a doctor in the first place.

“For example, one that was over their grandson’s house who ate a brownie, not realizing that it was a cannabis brownie,” Levine recalled.

The unwitting grandfather, who reported feeling dizzy and sedated, ended up undergoing MRIs and CT scans to rule out a stroke or early signs of dementia — culminating with a hefty emergency room bill, Levine said.

Many times, he added, “They come in dizzy and vomiting and it’s unclear [why]. No one knows their history.”

California is one of 21 states that permit recreational cannabis use. Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states. Therefore, it is anticipated that more senior citizens will be using pot in their golden years, with a spate of intended and unintended consequences.

As more states legalize marijuana, more older adults are experimenting with the substance, the study’s authors wrote. They may do so for a variety of purposes, including to manage chronic pain, the researchers explained, adding that many may use it socially.

Seniors are at particular risk for negative effects of cannabis use like slow reaction time and impaired attention, which could lead to injuries and falls.

Cannabis can also increase the risk of psychosis, delirium and paranoia, interact with other prescription medications and worsen pulmonary or cardiovascular diseases.

In the past 10 years alone, concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the psychoactive component of cannabis — have more than doubled, raising the risk of psychosis and cannabis use disorder.

Personally, if I remain in California after retirement, I may be one of the ever increasing number who indulge. I don’t think I could abide living in this socialist hellscape entirely sober.


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Liberal politicians love weed because it makes voters not care about what they are doing. That is why they made sure that pot shops and liquor stores stayed open during the WuFlu, to keep the masses sedated and tax revenue pouring in.

The funny thing about modern marijuana formulations is the incredible potency.
If these oldsters smoked leaf marijuana in college (.now called “flower” for some reason as it is not the flowers of the plant), they will find one puff is enough,
2 puffs is too much and 3 would be a huge overdose.
And modern oils are not the hash oil of the 60’s and 70’s.
One puff of these through a vape pen is a very powerful dose.
So it is no wonder they take too much.
Even if they are experienced users from the old days, now they are older and more frail and the new formulations are extremely more potent.

People who live in California need to worry about overdosing on marijauna.

On the other hand, people who live in the White House need to worry about overdosing on Alzheimers meds. There’s one old guy who has taken enough to kill a horse.

Senior to ER intake nurse, “But they said the MJ would make the blue pill work better”

E Howard Hunt | January 14, 2023 at 1:30 pm

Like, dude, what’s your point? This is all about EQUITY. Senior hopheads were underrepresented in ER drug overdoses.

During the shutdown in 2020 I could retreat to my lovely garden in San Jose, surrounded by flowers, running water and a lovely koi pond. That is until 3 pm, when my next door neighbor would finish his work-from-home and take a pot break in his back patio. My yard was down wind from his. It was legal, but I hated being chased from using my yard because he was smoking pot in his.

I love my new home in a nice conservative, non-pot smoking neighborhood. Another reason why I left my native state.

    Like windmills slaughtering eagles and whales, modern marijuana smoking is not only turning out to cause psychosis, but lung cancer among other bodliy damages:

      Don’t know if I buy that. THC is actually good for fighting cancer

      Joe Trippens protocol uses it. Very specific one, but non the less, I also heard many anecdotal reports and some actual scientific reports reported that indeed THC has cancer fighting properties,
      I suppose if you smoke 10 dubies a day, the smoke might be a different issue but , even before dropper THC was invented it has been used by holistic communities for health.
      for ever
      Not an advocate of drugs use or even legalization although it stands to reason to destroy the cartels, maybe legalization is key. Yet they still exist because even in California they can undercut the State cause of taxes, fees, overhead…
      I don’t have an answer, people have always sought out drugs to numb their emotions or to just enjoy. It’s the addiction that destroys lives, families, communities
      I don’t know if there is a good answer other than intact healthy families that practice their beliefs in God , instead of the shit show this world 🌍 is promoting

        Dathurtz in reply to gonzotx. | January 15, 2023 at 10:35 am

        If I remember correctly, marijuana is around 12x as carcinogenic as tobacco for the same mass. Of course, that was a while ago before it got insanely potent.

    I smell the smoky reek of pot everywhere. Sporting events, cars stopped at street intersections, parking lots, walking downtown and at the city park.

    Residential pot growers fog the neighborhood with that nasty skunk oder.
    It permeates everything. There’s no escape.

    Secondhand pot smoke is Gaia’s sweet perfume.

Decriminalization v legalization causes a host of problems. The solution is vigorous enforcement. Some guy is stoned in the ER? He’s intoxicated, charge him. Mistakenly consumed a couple bad brownies or edibles and we object to charging him? Ok from whom did he get them? His kid who has a card for personal prescription use and had them on the counter unlabeled? Ok charge the kid for failure to label it and for unsafe handling and lack of access controls.

Too harsh? Ok, get rid of all requirements for small amounts, every single one. Wait that would endanger minor children and unsuspecting people? Then set realistic legal requirements and vigorously enforce them. The real issue is no one wants to set or enforce realistic legal requirements and until they do there will be lots of casualties.

    Define realistic. We can’t agree on anything anymore. It would take a govt commission a year to decide who participates…another year to set ground rules…before you know it ten years have passed.

      JimWoo in reply to JimWoo. | January 15, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      DC can’t even decide if pot is a drug with medical use or a substance equal to heroin and cocaine on DEA schedule one.
      Doesn’t matter that 37 or so states have legalized it for that purpose.

All I know is, every time I get in a discussion with potheads online, it always starts out with them telling me how safe and natural it is (“so much safer than alcohol!”) and then the conversation quickly segues to tales of psychosis.

A person would have to be crazy to tolerate psychosis.

Screw ’em’. You take drugs you get what you get. Any problems are yours.
We need to stop reviving O.D.s with naloxone and let them go on to the “promised land”. They’ll just do it over and over and an O.D. is one less junkie on the streets.

When your power depends upon lots of “low information voters”, it is logical to “Cheech & Chong” them with drugs, control their access to information, legislate dependency, and punish any sparks of independence.

This is not a new tune, y’all. Politicians (and tyrants) benefit from the eradication of critical thinking.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Newsom tries to bring back the San Francisco opium dens of the 1880s.

To quote a famous American character, “stupid is as stupid does”.