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Parents and Seniors Smoking More Weed than Youngsters

Maureen Meehan



It has been widely reported that teenage pot-smoking rates dropped or remained flat after legalization in Colorado, and only rose slightly nationwide.

Now we are learning that an ironic role reversal is underway as their parents are doing most of the toking, according to recent data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The recently released CDC report notes that middle-aged and senior citizens are more likely to smoke weed than teenagers.

Indeed, regular pot use among people between 35-54 (up by 50% according to the CDC study) has surpassed use among teens.

The biggest spike was among the 55 to 64-year group: a whopping 455%.

And it’s not just our parents smoking more… it’s our grandparents. The most surprising piece of data was the 333% rise in cannabis use among seniors aged 65 and above.

This should come as no surprise to those who may recall that baby boomers were huge supporters of legalization back in the 1960s and ‘70s. As their lives took different turns, their enthusiasm waned—but clearly, it’s back.

Jump forward to 2013, and over half of the boomers favor legalizing pot, among the highest percentages ever, according to the Pew Research Center.

Another study, published last week by Lancet Psychiatry, shows that Americans do not perceive pot as harmful, and, more importantly, there was no increase in “marijuana use disorders,” or dependence on pot, despite the rise in smoking.

If this trend continues, speculates CDC report author Alejandro Azofeifa to the The Washington Post, pot use among older adults could be higher than use among teens in a few years.

“Older groups had a significant increase of marijuana use in the past month,” says Azofeifa.

That being the case, where are baby boomers getting their weed? Some are growing their own—but don’t do it if you live in Indiana.

Mildred Layton, 74, was recently busted when a retired Indiana State Police officer, flying a small aircraft over her house, turned her in for growing seven pot plants in her yard and on her deck.

Mildred, who told police she’d been growing for a “couple of years,” is being charged with possession and cultivation, which is a Level 6 Felony in Indiana under Governor Mike Pence, a.k.a. Trump’s VP running mate.

According to a local news outlet, in addition to finding basic indoor growing equipment in Mildred’s basement, authorities also discovered a “roach clip, rolling papers…and a magazine called High Times also in plain view.”