Friday, May 14, 2021

Seniors see increase in marijuana use

More and more baby boomers are lighting it up and turning to marijuana as time goes on.

The peer-reviewed journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence published a study on Sept. 6 stating that 9 percent of US adults between the ages of 50 and 64, and three percent of adults 65 and older used marijuana within the 2015-2016 study year.

In an CNN interview Joseph Palamar, study author and associate professor in the Department of Population Health, said most of the seniors who use marijuana aren’t first time users.

The study also found older marijuana users are more likely to turn to other substances compared to non-users.

A similar study in 2013, also published by Palamar and Benjamin H. Han, reported seven percent of U.S. middle-aged adults and 1.4 percent of adults 65 and older used marijuana.

The number of seniors doubled in two years.

Plattsburgh Curaleaf, a medical marijuana dispensary, serves a broad range of patients with the average patient being about 55. The youngest patient is 10 and the oldest is 95.

Curaleaf Pharmacist Kirsten Bezio attributes the increased number of consumers among baby boomers to the huge push to break the stigma surrounding cannabis as a medication.

“The more education that becomes available to the [baby boomer] generation, the more on board they’re becoming with cannabis,” Bezio said.

Bezio said that some older patients that come in still feel hesitant.

Although nine states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, and 21 others have only legalized medicinal, both types are still illegal in the remaining 20 states.

However, Bezio doesn’t see it staying that way for much longer, but doesn’t know when it will come about.

“I expect to see legal across the country very shortly,” Bezio said. “I’m not sure if they will come up with a federal regulation, or leave it the way it is and let each individual state figure it out.”

 

Email  Windsor Burkland at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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