How South Florida’s Alter Kockers Helped Legalize Medical Marijuana

Like many South Florida Jewish seniors, 92-year-old Ricki Marks didn’t need any persuading to support legalizing medical marijuana.

Marks, a resident of a Palm Beach Gardens assisted living facility who brags that “I still have all my marbles,” voted for legalization twice, once in 2014 when it narrowly lost in a statewide referendum, and again in 2016, when it won, approved by 71.3% of voters.

Legalization meant that she no longer had to rely on her shady connections – her grandson in Colorado and a brother in Oregon, where it was already legal – to smuggle the topical marijuana she uses to treat painful arthritis, spinal spinal stenosis and aching knees and hips. Now she gets it from a local dispensary.

“I am thrilled with it,” she said. As a result, her use of the opiate Vicodin has dropped from three or four times a day to two or three times a week.

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