Monday, July 27, 2015

Marijuana: Older Adult Use (Research, Video 2:15)

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, weed, Mary Jane, and other names, continues to gain acceptance and popularity in our society. However, the Pew Research Center reports that 74% of adults 65 and older are still uncomfortable about marijuana smoking, and 22% say they never used it. But many older adults, particularly those from the boomer generation, do use marijuana for health and social purposes. Eating edible marijuana is more popular than smoking it. Hospice patients in states where marijuana is legal can also choose treatment with marijuana to manage their symptoms and make them more comfortable. Even some retirees with medical challenges are deciding to move to states with legalized marijuana.

In a study of marijuana users in the San Francisco Bay Area, participants were
researched through history interviews, questionnaires, and health surveys in order to learn their perspectives regarding marijuana harm reduction. Results indicated that participants minimized marijuana harm so they could maintain social functioning in their everyday lives. Responsible and controlled use was described in the following ways:

          1) Moderation of quantity
          2) Frequency of marijuana used
          3) Using in appropriate setting
          4) Respect for non-users

Participants followed rituals or cultural practices while using rules that helped them define what was "normal" or "acceptable" marijuana use. Users with access to a regulated market (medical marijuana dispensaries) were better equipped to practice harm reduction.

This video describes the growing trend of older adult use of marijuana.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. Most people in Canada are vaping their MM.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer for sharing that. Please explain "vaping their MM" in more detail and what the response has been.

  2. This is such an important issue to discuss with our older patients. We have a lot to learn about how to apply this intervention safely and effectively. Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks for commenting. This is certainly a practice that will continue to increase in the future.