San Francisco, CA: Many baby boomers who use cannabis perceive the plant to be a safe substitute for prescription drugs and alcohol, according to survey data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.
Investigators at the Institute for Scientific Analysis in San Francisco surveyed 97 current marijuana users in regard to their cannabis use histories. All of those included in the survey were born between the years 1946 and 1964.
Researchers reported: "Participants considered cannabis a safer alternative for alcohol, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals because it had more manageable or less adverse side effects. Only ten percent of interviewees reported they experienced physical or mental health problems attributed to cannabis use. Many expressed pride in maintaining self-control with cannabis, characterized by normal social functioning and use regulation."
They concluded: "Participants' experiences suggest cannabis substitution can be an effective harm reduction method for those unable or unwilling to stop using drugs completely. ... These findings should be part of the discussion when formulating patient-centered, evidence-based treatment programs."
A previous study published in 2012 in the journal Addiction Research and Theory determined that three quarters of medical cannabis consumers report using it as a substitute for prescription drugs, alcohol, or some other illicit substance.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com. Full text of the study, "A safer alternative: Cannabis substitution as harm reduction," appears in Drug and Alcohol Review.