The use of marijuana among Baby Boomers is on the rise with double the amount of people using the substance in close to a decade, a new study has revealed.
According to researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research, more and more people aged between 50 and 64 are trying out the drug with around 9 per cent of Americans surveyed using it from 2015-2016.
The new findings, published by Science Daily build on previous data obtained by the same researchers, highlighting the growing trend of use in the age group.
While much of the population using marijuana is of a younger age, lead author Benjamin Han said Baby Boomers have more experience with using drugs on a more recreational level than other generations.
“The Baby Boomer generation grew up during a period of significant cultural change, including a surge in popularity of marijuana in the 1960s and 1970s,” he explained. “We’re now in a new era of changing attitudes around marijuana, and as stigma declines and access improves, it appears that Baby Boomers – many of whom have prior experience smoking marijuana – are increasingly using it.”
A total of 17,608 adults aged 50 and older were questioned as part of the study on their marijuana use, including when they first used it and whether they used it over the year prior. Respondents were also asked about their health and any other substance use.
The majority of Baby Boomers admitted to first using marijuana when they were 21-years-old or younger at 92.9 per cent. While over half said they had used the drug at some stage throughout their lives.
On top of this 15 per cent of Baby Boomers said the reason for use was for medical purposes, having been recommended it by their doctors.
This wasn’t surprising for Han who explained marijuana has many benefits for those suffering from neuropathic pain and nausea.
But the researcher added it is not always helpful and can cause further problems. “Certain older adults may be at heightened risk for adverse effects associated with marijuana use, particularly if they have certain underlying diseases or are also engaged in unhealthy substance use,” he said.