Baby Boomer Pot Use–Harmless Habit Or Health Risk?


Many baby boomers are approaching the age of retirement much as they departed the Age of Aquarius, by smoking pot, says the Washington Post. The most recent federal survey showed that the share of marijuana users ages 50 to 59 increased from 5.1 percent in 2002 to almost 10 percent in 2007. Some of those users are empty-nesters, returning to the drug decades after their pot habits gave way to raising children and building careers. Others have kept using pot all along.

“We’re concerned by the public health impact of this,” said Peter Delany, who heads the office in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that conducts the survey. Marijuana could present special problems for older users, he said, including unknown interactions with prescription drugs. “Doctors need to be more sensitive to it,” he said. “They may ask older patients about alcohol now but not think to ask about illicit drug use.” Sme older marijuana users say they are living evidence that smoking pot does not preclude a normal life, and more older smokers seem comfortable with going public — a tribute, they say, to a big boost in public tolerance of marijuana use.

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