Teens Aren’t Using More Cannabis, but Their Grandparents Sure Are

Photo via Flickr user Jurassic Blueberries

By Joan Eberhardt


Teens Aren’t Using More Cannabis, but Their Grandparents Sure Are

Over the last three years cannabis use among teens has actually declined, and their ability to access it has gotten harder as well. However, among adults over 50 cannabis use has increased significantly. From 2006 to 2013 there was a 57.8 percent increase among adults aged 50-56 and a 250 percent increase of adults over 65 who reported using cannabis. With both access to legal cannabis, changing public attitudes and access to medical marijuana, adults over 50 are one of the largest growing markets for legal cannabis.Another part of it may be that as Baby Boomers enter retirement, they return to the same kind of shenanigans they enjoyed in their youths. So there’s a talking point you can share with grandma this holiday season.

Adorable 81-year-old Italian Lady First Dispensary Customer in Anchorage, Alaska

Anna Ercoli, an 81-year-old resident of Anchorage, Alaska, arrived at Arctic Herbery at 8:30 a.m. last Thursday, three hours before the store opened, so she could obtain ointment to treat her pain and aid her sleep.

Alaska’s small legal market has been growing slowly since it went recreational and medically legal in 2014. A grow site in North Pole, Alaska supplies Arctic Herbery with its three available strains. An employee helped Ercoli choose a “a 2.5 gram vial of Afghan Kush flour to mix with an ointment to provide pain relief. She paid the $52.50 bill ($50 vial, $2.50 tax).” Ercoli said she prefers cannabis rather than pain or sleeping pills that ultimately don’t solve the problem.

Why the DUI System for Cannabis Sets Us Up to Fail

After the string of electoral victories last month, and the impending legislative progress you’ll read about below, it’s easy to become complacent about cannabis law. But the truth of the matter is cannabis laws are still frequently outdated and harmful. Drivers who are suspected of operating a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis are treated as if they are a hazard on the road, much like drivers under the influence of alcohol. But the way that police departments measure whether or not a driver is legally “under the influence” is outdated and hardly based on objective science. Because THC is fat soluble, it cannot be tested for in the same immediate way that alcohol intoxication can be detected. THC particles stay in the system for a much greater period of time, so a driver can be charged with a DUI for cannabis intoxication, even if that driver has not used cannabis in days or weeks. Pair that with conflicts that arise when cannabis is legal, but consideration is not granted for traffic related laws, and you find that every medical cardholder in Arizona is still subject to the state’s zero tolerance drug use policy. Even AAA President Marshall Doney wants to see intoxication laws brought in line with reality, telling the Cannabist “In the case of marijuana, this approach is flawed and not supported by scientific research.”

Quick Puffs

One last hit:

Happy holidays, whichever one you celebrate. This is a time to embrace our similarities and not our differences.

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