Survey: Cannabis Use Becoming Common Among Older Adults

COLORADO: The use of cannabis is relatively common among those over the age of 65 who reside in a legal marijuana state, according to data published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Investigators from the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus anonymously surveyed older adults at a pair of ambulatory geriatric primary care clinics in Colorado.

Thirty-two percent of respondents reported having used cannabis following legalization, and 16 percent reported that they were current users. Subjects were most likely to report using cannabis to mitigate symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression, or to stimulate appetite.

Authors concluded: “[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common. Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”

Separate studies find that self-reported cannabis usage among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription medications, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use. According to clinical data assessing seniors’ long-term use of cannabis, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: Full text of the study, “Characteristics and patterns of marijuana use in community-dwelling older adults,” appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

How Does The Baby-Boomer Generation Get Their Weed?

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Where do your parents go when they need weed?

Vanity Fair‘s Bill Bradley recently investigated the rise of marijuana use in the baby-boomers. The generation that was once America’s most notorious pot smokers during the Summer of Love are now rekindling their love for marijuana, and legalization is probably why.

According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.6 percent of Americans age 55 to 59 used marijuana in 2013, a considerable amount compared to just 1.6 percent in 2002. Along that same time, pot use among adults ages 60 to 64 doubled from 2.4 percent in 2002 to 4.7 percent in 2013.

According to the article, the legalization of recreational pot compared to medical marijuana is simply more appealing to the older generations.


Boomers Stand To Benefit Most From Medical Marijuana

FLORIDA:  Baby boomers are the group that stands to benefit most from medical marijuana, and their numbers may be key to whether Amendment 2 passes or fails, activists say.

In addition, industry experts say boomers 50 and older will likely drive growth of medical marijuana revenue.

The latest poll released Monday by Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University shows an average 88 percent of Floridians are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. Election Day is Nov. 4

“The reason they (Floridians) are overwhelmingly in favor is that disease and injury do not pick political affiliation or age,” said Orlando attorney John Morgan, chairman of People United for Medical Marijuana. The group runs the pro-Amendment 2 United for Care Campaign.


Oregon Conference On Cannabis Therapeutics Explores The Endocannabinoid System and Aging

OREGON: Patients Out of Time will bring their clinical cannabis conference series to Portland, Oregon, offering professional training and continuing education credits for doctors, nurses, other health care professionals.

Pre-conference workshops take place on May 8th at Portland University Place Hotel, with separate tracks for doctors, for nurses, and, new this year, for lawyers (offering CLEs), aimed at those who are going to counsel and represent patients, health care workers, caregivers, growers, dispensaries, banks, landlords and others on the myriad of issues arising in this newly burgeoning area of law. The main conference begins Friday morning at the Hotel and continues May 10th at the National College of Natural Medicine .

The theme for The Eighth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics is: The Endocannabinoid System and Age-Related Illnesses. Presentations will focus on the emerging science of the endogenous cannabinoid system and its effects on health as we age.  The baby boomers are reaching retirement age; this conference will promote understanding cannabis as beneficial not only as a medicine for the ill, but also as helpful in preventing many health problems, keeping systems in balance and protecting us from stressors.

The conference brings this information to Oregon at the perfect moment, with new dispensary laws, with the average age of a patient being 58, and The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program being one of the most successful in the nation, with 15 years regulating cannabis for patients, now numbering nearly 60,000.  Noting that the need for this education stretches across all states in the U.S., Mary Lynn Mathre, President and co-founder of Patients Out of Time, says, “Patients Out of Time chose

Portland in part because of that. Clearly, there are many dedicated health care professionals in Oregon and we want to provide them a solid knowledge base from which to help their patients.” The UCSF School of Medicine will once again be the co-sponsor and provide the continuing medical education credits.

Why National Marijuana Legalization Will Inevitably Happen, In One Chart

More and more, it seems like national marijuana legalization is happening, and happening fast. Marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state, and state and local authorities around the country are rapidly following suit to decriminalize recreational pot or legalize its use for medical purposes. States like New Jersey are mulling legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana entirely.

But what’s behind this massive shift in drug policy opinion? Changing generational sensibilities. In a Pew Research Center poll released last week, Millennials were noted as overwhelmingly supportive of marijuana legalization at a stunning 69% rate, more than double their support as recently as 2005. And older generations have changed their minds as well; 53% of Gen X and 52% of Boomers now back changing federal laws. [Read more…]