Baltimore, MD: Patients who are registered to use medicinal cannabis in compliance with state law are often over the age of 40, according to a demographic assessment published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
An investigator with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health assessed age demographics for medical marijuana participants in eight states with mandatory patient registries. "Among adults, medical marijuana participants tend to be in their 40s and 50s," the study found. "In several states, individuals in their 50s represented the largest age group of participants."
For example, more than 50 percent of cannabis patients in Alaska are 50 years or older. In Nevada, 58 percent of patients are over 45. In Vermont, just under half of all registrants are over 55 years of age. In Oregon, 44 percent of patients are over the age of 50.
By contrast, less than one percent of medical marijuana registrants are minors, the report found.
The findings conflict with the claims of critics who have argued that most medical cannabis patients are individuals in their late 20s or early 30s.
Nationwide, an estimated 650,000 Americans are now using cannabis in compliance with the laws of their state, the study concludes.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, "Trends in registered medical marijuana participation across 13 US states and District of Columbia," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.