Fastest Growing Demographic of Marijuana Users is People Over 65
Adults over the age of 65 is one demographic group that has seen a substantial increase in the number of individuals who use marijuana. Data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health shows the amount of people 65 and up who use marijuana has increased more than 10 times in a 10 year span, from 0.3% of those adults in 2007 to 3.7% of those adults in 2017. As more states choose to legalize marijuana, that figure is likely to increase.
Legalization is not the only reason for the rapid expansion of users in this age range. Another factor is that marijuana education has become more widely available and has influenced people to try marijuana to treat their ailments, instead of pills or some other form of medication. As legalization efforts continue, for both medical and recreations use, marijuana is becoming more accessible to people every day. Efforts to expand the illnesses or ailments that can be prescribed medical marijuana has also played a role in its accessibility. And finally, since many older patients choose not to smoke, the availability of edibles, creams, lozenges, and oils provide them with easier ways to consume marijuana.
Public perception regarding marijuana continues to change. While it was once considered an extremely taboo substance, people have now learned through both research and anecdotal evidence that marijuana has the ability to act as medicine for many health problems. Cancer patients can use it as a way to regain an appetite and keep food down. Others who suffer from Alzheimer’s or glaucoma can also now use marijuana to help relieve symptoms. As more people become educated on how marijuana can improve the quality of life, the percentage of adults and the elderly who use it will continue to increase.