Older Minnesotans use plenty of meds, but medical marijuana? Not so much

Rosemary Johnson has three pill bottles in her refrigerator, each with different mixtures of THC and CBD — marijuana chemicals used in medicine.

Johnson, 72, suffers from lupus, Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia and scoliosis. For the last year, she’s participated in the state’s medical marijuana program. But up until then, like many people in her age group, she’d never used marijuana.

“I don’t even know if I even know what it smells like,” she said. “Because I never did drugs or anything like that when I was in high school in the 60s.”

According to state statistics, Johnson’s age group — despite having the highest rate of prescribed drugs nationally — ranks third among regular users of medical marijuana as an age group.

The latest statistics of active users of medical marijuana show that 32 percent of users are in the 50-64 age group; 27 percent are in the 36-49 age group; and 19 percent are

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