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Older Americans Are Changing Their Views On Marijuana Policy

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senior marijuana seniors elderly cannabisThe elderly represent the largest medical marijuana consumer group. However, more and more senior citizens are turning to marijuana for recreational purposes — and it’s not just the aging baby boomers that left the substance behind in college. Some retirees are trying marijuana for the first time.

In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 6.3% of adults between the ages of 50 and 59 used marijuana, more than double the percentage that reported it 10 years ago.

HuffPost Live streamed “Grandparents & Ganja,” a discussion about marijuana’s unexpected clientele. Speakers included: MPP’s communications director, Mason Tvert; Mason’s grandmother, Helen Shuller; Keith Stroup, the founder of NORML; and former Washington State Senator George Rohrbacher.  During the conversation, Helen was asked if older voters would be in favor of legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. “[T]here’s a great deal of money to be raised by taxing marijuana,” she replied. “If that will relieve the worries about future social security and Medicare, older people will be very much in favor of it.”

The New York Times also explored marijuana’s popularity among the elderly. The newspaper spoke with a number of retirees, including Mason’s grandparents. “Most of us are either retiring or are retired,” Helen told the Times. “You don’t have to worry about your job knowing, so it’s a little easier for us. I don’t care if you use my name, I don’t care if they know!”

Source: Marijuana Policy Project - make a donation

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5 Comments

  1. badweatherrr on

    No Doubt!

    I keep telling people, the group that cannabis could help the most, the elderly, are most afraid of the most gentle of all medicinal plants.

    I think it should be regarded as the first line of defense against everything that typically effects the elderly.

    Inflammation is the number one problem in aging.

  2. A regulated and licensed distribution network for all mind altering substances would put responsible adult supervision in between children and premature access to drug distribution outlets (illegal street dealers). Regulated and licensed distribution would reflect and respect society’s values, thus preventing children obtaining easy access to these substances. What we need is legalized regulation. What we have now, due to prohibition, is a non-regulated black market to which everybody has access and where all the profits go to organized crime and terrorists.

  3. firetheliberals on

    Right on brother. Folks in their fifties have a lot of inflammatory, pain and depression issues. If we could all use weed without worrying about our jobs, as a direct result of the drug free workplace, we would be happier. And I could not agree more on the use of sativa for mental health for seniors.

    Given the depressing state of affairs left to us by obama and bush, lots of folks have a lot of anxiety on how they are going to survive..

  4. Cannabis use for elderly people should be required.

    I’m serious. There is absolutely nothing better fro the aging body and mind than cannabis. Raw cannabis juice, oral consumption of dried flowers, vaporizing, tinctures (Cannabis Sativa), etc…

    The neuroprotective benefits of cannabis for the elderly cannot go unmentioned. The anti-inflammatory abilities of THC and CBD are important at a time when inflammation can be at debilitating levels. Anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, anti-antisocial, anti-hotflash (hormonal degeneration post menopause), etc.

    And last but, not least (I have plenty of experience with my own parents), elderly people that are consuming cannabis regularly are happier, less stressed and more relaxed. A satiated endocannabinoid system is better balanced with the supplementation of cannabis when the body’s own production trails off with old age.

    The only unfortunate aspect would be that they were not able to legally use cannabis earlier in life; that’s about to change. Sad that their generation was lied to and misinformed by the federal government.

    Hints: For all of you baby boomers that have problems with memory, consume only pure sativa and sativa dominant hybrids. Stay away from pure indica strains because it will temporarily impair short time memory, it will also cause unwanted lethargy. Do not consume cannabis the first time alone; have a sober sitter watching you at a safe, quiet and familiar setting. Remember one thing. No matter how high you get, it will be over in a few hours, and ‘no’ you are not going to die (although it may, sometimes, feel like it).

    To your health. You will definitely enjoy the remaining days of your life more with cannabis at your side.