Marijuana use is rising sharply among seniors
The numbers of American seniors over age 65 who now smoke marijuana or use edibles increased two-fold between 2015 and 2018, according to research published Monday in JAMA.
California septuagenarian Carol Collin is one of them. About two years ago she began eating a marijuana "gummy" each night before bed to help with sleep.
"I am an absolute chronic insomniac. I have been ever since I was a little tiny child -- it just drives me crazy," Collin said. "I take this little cube and it just makes me drowsy so I can sleep and doesn't leave me groggy in the morning."
Use was highest among women, racial or ethnic minorities, and seniors who were married, college educated, had mental health issues and had incomes of $20,000 to $49,000 and $75,000 or higher.
"Marijuana may increase the serum concentrations of warfarin and increase the risk for bleeds," said pharmacist Tracy Mahvan, adding that the use of marijuana could also affect a senior's ability to open and manage their medications.
An additional concern for many baby boomers who tried weed in the 1960s and '70s, Palamar said, is the change in the nature of marijuana over the years.
"Weed has been getting stronger over the past few decades," Palamar said, "and a lot of these seniors don't take dosing seriously, especially edibles.
1. - septuagenarian – a person who is from 70 to 79 years old
2. - baby boomer – born in the years following World War I, between 1944 and 1964
1. Bring the latest statistics out into the open concerning American seniors who smoke marijuana.
2. Divulge one California septuagenarian’s chief purpose in consuming the gummies.
3. Who were likely the main consumers as reported? Detail the concerns enumerated by the pharmacist, Tracy Mahvan.
4. What are your thoughts on seniors over age 65 that started or still ingesting cannabis?
5. Would you vote to legalize marijuana or keep it banned? Offer some personal views.