Why Growing Numbers of Baby Boomers and the Elderly Are Smoking Pot

An excellent and thoughtful analysis appears today via Alternet.org. Below is an excerpt. To read the entire story, please visit here.

Why Growing Numbers of Baby Boomers and the Elderly Are Smoking Pot
More and more of the nation’s 78 million Boomers are discovering they’d rather smoke marijuana than reach for a pharmaceutical
Conventional wisdom dictates that as younger generations slowly replace the old, conservative social traditions are jettisoned. This may be true for issues such as gay marriage, where there are clear divisions among younger and older voters, but when it comes to marijuana reform, the evidence indicates that simplistic divisions of opinion along age lines don’t apply for pot.
Earlier this week, an AP wire article picked up a lot of buzz in the news-cycle, with a title and premise meant to shock the mainstream: “Marijuana Use by Seniors Goes up as Boomers Age.”
The AP article was pegged to a December report released by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It revealed that the number of Americans over 50 who had reported consuming cannabis in the year prior to the study had gone up from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent in the period from 2002 to 2008.
This is supported by earlier polling results. In February 2009, a Zogby poll found that voters aged 50 to 64 were almost equally divided in their support for marijuana legalization at 48 percent. In that same poll, young voters aged 18 to 29 were the cohort who most enthusiastically supported legalization, at 55 percent. But overall support among all ages came in at 44 percent.
So who brought the average down? Don’t lay the blame on the elderly. In fact, as early as 2004, an AARP poll found that 72 percent of its members (all 50-plus, with the lion’s share over 65) supported marijuana for medical purposes, indicating their understanding of the benefits of legal cannabis availability.
Some expert observers in the marijuana reform movement believe that the bulk of marijuana detractors are made up of 30- and 40-somethings — adults of parenting age. And as more of the 65-and-over crowd is populated by Baby Boomers, it appears that in the not-too-distant future every age demographic including the elderly will approve of marijuana reform more than Americans in their 30s and 40s.

Read the rest of the story online here.

0 thoughts

  1. Because the boomers are retiring and do not need to take drug tests for that crappie job anymore.
    Because they are 60 years and older and they don’t care what the goverment wants. We are old enough to know when the U.S. goverment is lying to us, big time.We don’t trust the goverment, never did.

  2. It’s illegal because you didn’t pay the money to a hot burning overdose nigotine $igarette company (and the oligarchs know they’ll never make money on cannabis competing against homegrowers like you and me).
    If you want to cash in your euphoriafeeling time on some inspired handwork that will really get my herb legalized, make thousands of quarter-inch-diameter preshaped screens and quarter-inch-diameter-crater one-hitters to spread among your friends and donationpayers.
    If the wikiHow articles (“How to Make Smoke Pipes out of Everyday Objects” etc.) leave anything to be desired, sign in and re-edit them, adding jpg photos of completed longtube one-hitters etc. as needed!

  3. Legalize and tax. Release prisoners with Marijuana convictions. Eliminate restrictions on financial aid for people with drug offenses so everyone benefits from education. Promote mental health!
    For a ‘free’ society we sure have heavy handed rules and penalties.

  4. I’m 51 years of age and would like to try pot for pain relief for my nerve disease but I don’t have access to weed where I live! Well, what I mean about access to pot is as I said I’m 51, so i ask, where are these baby boomers and elderly who are smoking now getting their supply from? I mean pot just does’t knock at the front door and say “here I am” lol. If anyone can give me advice as to how an aging person can get some medical MJ I would appreciate it!

  5. Ken, first buy a T-shirt that is appropriate. I know you can’t always tell a book by its cover, but it’s nice if it has a cover. We boomers aren’t all that afraid of getting busted, but we won’t get our friends busted for anything. Be patient.

  6. I’m a 50 yo disabled veteran. i’ve been smoking pot for over 25yrs for pain relief and to help me sleep. yet every time i smoke i break the law. i fought for freedom. where did it go?
    (added by Mobile using Mippin)

  7. People speak of no one making any tax money from cannabis because of “Home Growers”. I disagree, I believe that people would much rather go to thier local cannabis distribution center and buy a bag of already cleaned cannabis rather than go through the hassle of growing thier own. It’s realy more of a pain in the butt than you might think. I have tried to grow my own, and failed miserably. Yes, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I can’t grow a weed. There are people making millions killing weeds, and I can’t even grow one, pathetic. Many people will find themselves in the same situation, and they will be more than happy to pay the taxes when it is legalized.

  8. Ken,
    The best way to find Marijuana is to be open and honest about your beliefs. It will not come knocking at your door. One arm of the drug war is aimed at killing open conversation about Marijuana … how can we ever see the light about a substance that we can barely talk about in open society for fear of ridicule, chastisement or even punishment?
    I am encouraged by the California referendum. Maybe re-legalization will finally take hold.

  9. #57 Ironman: I haven’t raised plants, but I can tell you at least the “hassle of cleaning” the herb is no big deal, check out the wikiHow.com article “How to Sift Herbs for Smoking Use”. (When I get set up with scanning tech I will add to that article a hand-drawn cartoon strip showing how to make your own #8, #16 and #30* screened shake-&-grindsifters otherwise you can buy equivalent for under $10.) And Joe, please don’t say “cleaning” the herb, it’s SIFTING, thanx.
    *The little bit of herb which you shake through the #30 sifter is relatively good kief; supernonwasteful 10-mg. tokes are recommended for it instead of the regular 25-mg. Don’t forget to have your cough/breathbonnet (Hemprush Limpbag) handy so you can do 30 warm wet W’s in honour of the dawgwagner and get all that THC maxyield.

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