The Guardian (USA ed) reports
As attitudes towards cannabis shift, the fastest-growing group of users is over 50 – and marijuana’s popularity among seniors is beginning to change the American experience of old age.
Why are more seniors getting high? It might make more sense to ask: “Why not?” As adults reach retirement, they age out of drug tests and have far more time on their hands. Some feel liberated to abandon long-held proprieties.
Elegant vape pens and other attractive, discreet products have helped de stigmatize the drug among older Americans. “Legalization seems to make non-users seem a little less scared of it, and perhaps less judgmental,” says Jo, a 56-year-old cannabis user who preferred not to use her real name.
The seniors using cannabis today aren’t your parents’ grandparents. The generation that camped out at Woodstock is now in its seventies. They’ve been around grass long enough to realize it’s not going to kill them, and are more open to the possibility it will come with health benefits. (By contrast, in a survey of one, my 100-year-old grandmother recently said she had no interest in medical marijuana.)
Seniors’ affinity for weed is beginning to ripple across the US healthcare system. A 2016 study found that in states with access to medical marijuana, those using Medicare part D – a benefit primarily for seniors – received fewer prescriptions for other drugs to treat depression, anxiety, pain, and other chronic issues.
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