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More Baby Boomers Are Switching to Marijuana, Study Finds

Baby Boomer Marijuana

A new study shows that more Baby Boomers and seniors are using marijuana. Roughly 9% of those ages 50 to 64 report having used marijuana within the last year. For those over age 65, it’s about 3%.

In the past decade marijuana use has doubled for those considered to be middle-aged adults, ABC Local 10 News reports. Meanwhile, older adults have seen a seven-fold increase during that same period.

Joseph Palamar, the senior study author, mentioned that a majority of those responding indicated that the previous year’s use wasn’t their first time using marijuana. He said, “I don’t think we need to worry about millions of older people trying weed for the first time. At least not yet.”

Palamar looked at data from 17,608 adults age 50 and older that responded to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The data for this study was from 2015-2016 and was compared to data from 2006-2007. The data showed that 5.7% of responding adults said they used marijuana within the previous month. In regards to older adults, about 1.7% used within the last month.

Some of those adults also used unhealthy substances like alcohol, tobacco and opioids. The rates were higher in middle-aged adults than in older adults.

According to the study’s authors Baby Boomers seem to have more experience with marijuana than elder generations. At least 55% reported having used marijuana at least once in their lives. Only 22% of those in older age groups said they’d used marijuana at least once.

Photo: Mel Melcon/LAtimes