A NUMBER of elderly people in Cork are turning to the dark web in a desperate attempt to ease the pain of agonising conditions.
That’s according to the creators of the Cork Cannabis Social Facebook page-a platform used to exchange information on the drug.
“A lot of elderly people are reaching out to the page because they’ve nowhere else to go,” a member of the group said.
“A younger person might just ask how they can get cannabis. However, elderly people will often relay their story and ask if there is any way that we can help them.”
The Cork Cannabis Social group is for consumers and advocates of the drug to come together to stand up for what they say is everyone's right to safe and effective medicine.
They insist that the group is not for buying, selling or sourcing cannabis.
One of the members told the Echo they have been contacted by elderly people living in chronic pain and that many have resorted to the 'dark web' in order to source cannabis.
“I know elderly individuals who-with the assistance of young people around them-were able to navigate through the dark web and regularly get orders of cannabis delivered to them by the postman.
They use the dark web as a means to protect themselves. They can check out reviews specifying if a protect arrived on time or whether it was over or underweight.”
He said that the children of elderly people with pain issues are often placed in compromising positions.
“One person we encountered has been processing cannabis for their parents, who are both suffering from illnesses. One of the parents is a cancer patient.
His parents' consultants wouldn’t entertain the idea of helping them access cannabis through the legal route so he felt this was the only option. A lot of the time people do this out of sensitivity and compassion for their parents. They want to give them relief from the pain.”
He spoke of one of the many stories that inspired the Facebook page.
“A number older people have gotten cannabis from teenagers on the street. It’s the worst way but this happens a lot more than we realise."
"I came across a woman before this page was set up who was in her late eighties and swapping her medication with kids in the area in exchange for cannabis. She wanted it for her crippling arthritis and eye issues and figured the cannabis was giving her better relief than the prescribed medication. They had their own little system going and she would even bring them in for cups of tea. The way she viewed it was that they would have been getting these tablets from somebody else anyway.”
He emphasised the dangers of supplying cannabis.
“If a young person is supplying an elderly person with cannabis then technically that’s a very serious crime. Not only are they committing an offence but the older person is guilty of possession. These are both very serious crimes.”
The spokesperson said he believes that the regulation of cannabis could protect teenagers from drug dealers.
“Growing up I can remember how cannabis was easier to get than alcohol.
If you can't keep drugs out of prison then you can't keep them out of festivals Our biggest concern is that impressionable kids purchasing cannabis may in turn be taken on as drug dealers. Our concern isn't just for the elderly. We had a person in their thirties with a serious condition who asked someone in the know if they could get him cannabis. He ended up getting robbed by him which just goes to show how vulnerable people can be.”