BY: SAMANTHA TAPP
Time to stop drowning yourself in body spray, buying Visine in bulk and carrying around a smell-proof baggy wherever you go, because guess what: your parents and grand-parents are getting high as hell too.
In a new study published in the Society for the Study of Addiction, researchers looked at the weed habits of 47,000 men and women over the age of 50. Researchers from New York University School of Medicine, the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and the Center for Drug Use & HIV Research examined data collected between 2006-2013 for the National Survey on Drug Use.
They found that marijuana use for those aged 50 to 64 had gone up 57.8 per cent, but even better was that the weed use for those over 64 had increased by 250 per cent. Obviously, this rejects the bullshit myth that baby boomers don’t smoke weed for fun. Unsurprisingly, most participants in the study confirmed that they had tried weed for the first time when they were adolescents or young adults, so this wasn’t their first experience with good ol’ Mary Jane.
In total, the researchers found that there was a 71 per cent increase in people smoking weed over the course of the seven-year study period. They assume that the huge increase is due to the legalization of weed in several US states; and the fact that baby boomers were born in the ’50s and ’60s, so you can assume they know a little more than your local high school dealer.
Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, co-author of the study, wasn’t surprised with the results at all. “After all, this was the generation who was there, in the late 1960s, when the counterculture revolution exploded marijuana into mainstream popularity,” he said in a press release.
Take this information lightly, it doesn’t suggest that everyone in the retirement home is sparking up. By 2013, only 7.1 per cent of people aged 50-64 and 1.4 per cent of people over 64 had smoked weed in the past year.
While the authors were not worried about the older generations smoking weed, they did say that the results of the study may push for more research on the effects of marijuana on baby boomers, as most research is focused on teens.
“Given the unprecedented aging of the U.S. population, we are facing a never before seen cohort of older adults who use recreational drugs,” said lead author Benjamin Han, MD, in a press release.
More so, 85.3 per cent of those surveyed thought that using weed monthly posed no risk and 79 per cent said the same thing about weekly use.
“Personally, I don’t think we need to be very alarmed about most older people who are using marijuana,” Palamar said. “It is probable that most older users are at least somewhat experienced and are hopefully at reasonably low risk of harming themselves or others after use.”