Studies show that older Americans of 50 years and above are the highest pot users compared to adults of between 21 to 30 years. According to the data collected by CDC(Center for Disease Control and Prevention), pot use among older adults of 55 to 64 years rose from 1.1 percent in 20002 to 6.1 percent in the year 2014 showing that the number of adults switching to the use of cannabis is growing. This trend has tempted many research bodies and scientists to find out why that’s the case especially in cities that have made it legal for adults to use pot for recreational reasons. Does it mean that the urge to smoke weed increases as one grows or younger adults are reluctant to use it? Well, we’ll explore what scientists and other research studies have to say about this topic.
Apart from being a substance taken for recreation, marijuana also has health benefits and this may be one of the reasons behind the increased use of pot among older adults. As we all know, health condition tends to deteriorate as one grows old and as such, there’s need to use medicinal substances. Indeed, cannabis is one of the most loved recreational substances among adults, but its special qualities make it unique. It’s healing power and ability to relieve pain is one of those qualities that possibly make it stand tall among other substances used by adults. It’s because of this reason that this recently legalized drug is gaining popularity among the old in many states of America. Adults with certain health conditions can use it and feel better than when they do not use it or make use of other recreational stuff such as alcohol that does have medical benefits. It’s, therefore, believed that the old people love it for its health benefits.
According to Professor Brian Kaskie of University of Iowa College of Public Health, the increase in the number of old people using marijuana can be attributed to the feeling of social acceptance of the use of the drug especially in states where the drug is accepted. Unlike in the past when the use of the drug had been decriminalized, nowadays adults can comfortably look for it for medical or recreational reasons. Other studies have also linked the increased use of the drug to the new status it has acquired following legalization. However, these studies found increased use among all adults and not necessarily the old ones only. We can, therefore, say that usage might have been fueled by the wave that pushed many states to remove medical cannabis from being on the list of banned drugs.
Age related health problems such as nausea, glaucoma, neuropathic pain and cancer symptoms among others could also explain why older adults tend to use marijuana more than their younger counterparts. The pains and other discomforts caused by the above conditions can be treated by medical cannabis. In fact, medical cannabis doctors have reported that most of those who seek recommendation and prescriptions of the drug are usually the old people with the above health problems. Since all these conditions are common to the old people, most of them usually see the use of medical cannabis as the best option because it serves two functions. The first one is that it is a pain reliever, and the second one is for recreation purpose. It’s, therefore, more beneficial to use marijuana than to consume alcohol or other substances.
As we try to explain why marijuana use is widespread among adults of above 50 years, we should also try to find out whether marijuana use leads to substance abuse. We should find out whether or not the old adults had used marijuana before or they only started it when they grew old. We could be arguing that the use of the drug among the old is high and maybe these are people who’ve been using since the time they attained the age of adulthood. That could be the case because some claim that those using the drug were pot-tolerant baby boomers that grew old. But of course, that isn’t the sole factor that contributes to the trend we are seeing. We should, however, not worry much about it because these are old people who know what they are doing. Therefore, the choice to use marijuana is assumed to be a wise one only for the fact that many of us don’t understand why that has to be the case.
In a nutshell, we can generally attribute the tendency to use marijuana to the health related problems that are common at old age. We all know that once one attains fifty, some conditions are almost inevitable. As a result, the choice of marijuana could be to primarily help treat them and relieve pain. Indeed, cannabis has many health benefits, and it’s one of those reasons that led to the passing of the laws to make it legal. A statewide survey can help find out the exact reasons that drive the old adults into using the drug more than the young ones.