Pot smoking among a certain sector of the country’s approximately 76 million baby boomers was a serious cultural phenomenon as they came of age in the 1960s.
Now that many in this demographic of campus radicals and hippies are receiving Medicare, they are looking to gain more access to recreational and medical marijuana. In the case of the latter, they would like it to be covered under Medicare.
“A lot of the things marijuana is best at are conditions which become more of an issue as you get older,” Taylor West, deputy director of the Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association, told Reuters.
“Chronic pain, inflammation, insomnia, loss of appetite: All of those things are widespread among seniors.”
In the meantime, what are seniors in non-medical marijuana states doing to get relief from these afflictions?
Indeed, “there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions—which medical marijuana could help treat—are relocating to states with legalized marijuana,” said Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy at UCLA who studies retiree migration trends.
The sheer volume of baby boomers, nearly one-quarter of the US population, is having an impact on one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
Recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that pot smoking has increased among baby boomers in the past decade and is expected to rise.
A poll of 68,000 Americans revealed that baby boomer pot usage has doubled, and even quadrupled, in some age blocks above 50 years of age.
It would therefore make sense for MMJ to be prescribed and covered by Medicare as it could lower healthcare costs and save the government a significant amount of money.
A decision by the federal government to reschedule marijuana would have to come first.
We can only hope that the current or future government will see the wisdom and logic of doing this – a move that would benefit everyone for many reasons.