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Pot Use by Baby Boomers Is on the Rise

Maureen Meehan



The most recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that pot smoking has greatly increased among baby boomers in the past decade and is expected to continue to rise. After polling 68,000 Americans, their report showed that baby boomer pot usage has doubled, and even quadrupled, in some age blocks of individuals above 50 years of age.

The study, according to the Upstart Business Journal, showed the combined medical and recreational marijuana industry is one of the fastest growing in the United States, largely because of the Baby Boomers whose pot consumption is expected to grow faster than any other demographic of pot users.

By the end of 2015, more than 110.9 million Americans over 50 are expected to be using marijuana, and that number could increase by seven percent in the following five years, according to a recent study done by global research firm IBISWorld.

It’s no wonder the pot industry is expected to skyrocket by some 30 percent in the coming five years now that baby boomers are lighting up. After all, boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) represent close to one-quarter of the U.S. population.

Apart from relieving aches and pains that come along with aging, boomer pot usage is on the rise for a myriad of reasons: more free time, more disposable income, legalization of medical cannabis and the rise in popularity of edibles. Some seniors say they are more comfortable eating brownies or drinking pot-laced beverages rather than smoking.

Then, there are those baby boomers who are just going back to something they enjoyed in their earlier years.

“I smoked for years before I had my kids then stopped, said Nancy N., 63, a retired teacher from outside Cleveland. “Now they’re gone and I am free to do what I want again… And smoking pot is one of them.”