Fewer Older Americans Perceive Significant Risks Associated with Marijuana Use

San Diego, CA: The percentage of older Americans who believe that the use of marijuana poses significant risks to health is declining, according to data published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

A team of researchers affiliated with the University of California, San Diego assessed the attitudes of older Americans (ages 65 and older) in a nationally representative cohort of 18,794 adults. They reported that the percentage of older adults “who believe that people who smoke cannabis once or twice a week are at great risk of harming themselves physically and in other ways” had decreased nearly 20 percent between the years 2015 and 2019.

The study’s finding is consistent with data showing a significant uptick in self-reported cannabis use by older Americans and seniors. Most recently, data from Washington state reported that 25 percent of women and 38 percent of men ages 50 and older had used cannabis within the past year, up from 15 percent and 23 percent just two year earlier.

Full text of the study, “Decreasing perceived risk associated with regular cannabis use among older adults in the United States from 2015 to 2019,” appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Additional information is available in the NORML fact sheet, “Cannabis Use by Older Adult Populations.