Ganja-Smoking Grandparents Stir Up Trouble in California | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Ganja-Smoking Grandparents Stir Up Trouble in California

Dispute over retirement village gardening pits medical marijuana retirees against “old-timers.”


Not just for stoners anymore.
Photo via 420times

By Dirk Hanson


| Share

Laguna Woods Village, tucked into a conservative southern California county, has managed to outrage neighbors with a thriving 150-member medical marijuana collective. Lonnie Painter, a 65-year old grandfather who uses marijuana along with prescription painkillers for osteoarthritis, told Associated Press that “we’ve got people who don’t like it here, they don’t like marijuana…. What I get more worried about is myself getting put in jail. If you were just a patient you’d be safe, but if you are active and involved in any way in make it available for others, the federal government can come and scoop you up.”

To be honest, things have gone fairly well so far, and nobody’s scooped up anybody, given that it’s all legal under California law. However, Painter did push his luck when the 2-year old collective first got underway, growing two dozen healthy specimens of Super Silver Haze before the volunteer board that governs the retirement community of 18,000 people said “enough.” The board voted to prohibit the cultivation of marijuana in the community garden due to the reported theft of “two marijuana plants, tangerines, and a rake and shovel.” Which really is pushing things a little too far. It sounds like the chairman of the Garden Advisory Group had a heavy vote in the matter: “It sets a precedent. Our gardens are for flowers and vegetables, and that’s all, and it’s been that way since 1964 or 1965 when this was started,” said chairman Howard Feichtmann.

Believe it or not, local observers say the core of the problem is actually a generation gap. The average age at Laguna Woods Village is 78, AP reports, while new residents begin moving in at age 55. The newcomers are open to using pot for assorted conditions related to aging, but not so the old-timers.

In the end, Painter and his group solved the supply problem by building a greenhouse at an undisclosed location offsite. Said another member of the collective: “It’s just so difficult and it shouldn’t be because it makes me feel like I’m doing something criminal but I’m not.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv