Senior Citizens are the Most Rapidly Growing Demographic of Cannabis Smokers
Senior citizens are currently the most rapidly growing demographic group that is consuming cannabis. NBC San Diego reported that 90 percent of seniors frequenting one dispensary in Orange County are medical marijuana patients, and a study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health concluded that between 2006 and 2013, people aged 65 and up who consumed marijuana increased by a whopping 250 percent.
The producer from The Doctors, Leslie Marcus, traveled to a retirement community to find out why so many seniors were using cannabis. The seniors who admitted to consuming marijuana said that they did so for pain relief and many were trading their pills for pot. They also were using marijuana for conditions such as anxiety, depression, Parkinson’s Disease and insomnia.
Those interviewed by Marcus said that marijuana did not eliminate all of their symptoms, but that it had radically improved their quality of life. Dr. Bonni Goldstein from Canna-Centers was also interviewed and confirmed that her patients have discovered that weed has helped them stop taking many of their prescription medications.
According to Live Science, the authors of a paper published in the Gerontologist journal say that age-related health issues including cancer, glaucoma, nausea and neuropathic pain drive so many seniors to use marijuana to relieve symptoms.
Professor Brian Kaskie at the University of Iowa College of Public Health co-authored the paper and thinks that seniors are also using more marijuana because the stigma of marijuana use is fading. He added that states legalizing marijuana is also a factor. The Hill reported that at least 64 percent of the country is in support of legalizing recreational marijuana and 30 states including Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana so far, with many states proposing legalization. Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California.