Recently, when I’ve attended concerts that have a tendency to attract baby boomers, such as for instance Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones, I’ve noticed a lot of boomers smoking cigarettes joints.
Turns out that’s no coincidence.
According to a recent report in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, more baby boomers are using weed and other cannabis products.
Nine percent of people aged 50 to 64 said they’ve used marijuana in the past year, doubling in the past decade, while three percent of these over 65 have inked so, the study found.
Perhaps that’s not just a big surprise, since the child boomer generation has already established more experience than other generations with marijuana, which surged in popularity through the 1960s and 1970s. More than half (almost 55%) of middle-age adults purchased marijuana at some point within their lives, while over a fifth (about 22%) of older adults have inked so, based on the study.
Those who used marijuana as teens were prone to say they were still fans of the herb, the team at New York University found.
What accounts for marijuana’s big comeback with the older crowd?
Certainly, the stigma of using marijuana has decreased. I never used but, admittedly, Jungle Boys Uk weed was considered cool when I was in senior school through the 70s. However, we made fun of “potheads” who smoked constantly and came to school fumbling around like fools in a fog bank. That appears to have changed in recent years with some boomers considering it cool to do something like teenagers again and claiming the title, pothead, with pride, like smoking marijuana was some kind of accomplishment.
Access has certainly been made easier with the legalization of marijuana for medical use within 29 states and D.C. and for recreational use within eight states and D.C., including here in California where I live. Pot farms are springing up everywhere including one of many nearby desert towns, Desert Hot Springs, which includes been nicknamed Desert Pot Springs.
Some baby boomers use weed to help ease aching joints and other ailments or to simply help them sleep.
Regardless of the reasons for boomers smoking cigarettes, beware, there are some definite pitfalls. The survey indicated that users think marijuana is harmless. But the researchers were quick to indicate that is clearly not the case.
“Acute undesireable effects of marijuana use can include anxiety, dry mouth, tachycardia (racing heart rate), high blood pressure, palpitations, wheezing, confusion, and dizziness,” they warned. “Chronic use can result in chronic respiratory conditions, depression, impaired memory, and reduced bone density.”
Researchers also reported that baby boomers using cannabis were prone to smoke, drink alcohol, and abuse drugs. Marijuana users were also prone to misuse prescription drugs such as for instance opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers than their peers.
Mixing substances is particularly dangerous for older adults with chronic diseases, the team advised. Marijuana may intensify symptoms and interact with prescribed medications.
In fact, physicians should ask older patients about whether they use marijuana because it could interact with prescription drugs, the team recommended, and it may indicate substance abuse problems.
In other words, baby boomers would excel to locate true bliss in healthier ways.