Pot Stigma Declines
Baby Boomers, now moving into their senior years at a rate of 10,000 per day, will cast a less harsh eye toward marijuana criminalization than do current seniors. The change has already started.
While weed has always been around, it began to become less stigmatized during the Age of Aquarius in the late 60’s. As Hippies and other Boomers began to get haircuts, paychecks and mortgages, pot began to seen as more mainstream and socially accepted.
Boomers and Elderly Seek Marijuana Benefits
Back in 2009, one study showed only 0.4% of seniors 65 or older used marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, but that same study showed that 6.1% of those in the 50-54 age range used it.
Today, many of those Boomers are beginning to struggle with illnesses, disease, as well as assorted age related aches and pains, and they are relying upon their old friend; Mother Nature, hemp, cannabis, weed, ganja, rope, pot, Maui wowie…whatever they call it, to reduce symptoms, aid insomnia or to simply make life more enjoyable.
National Organizers Target Senior Voters
Recognizing that Boomers are helping to change the public perception of marijuana, national organizers for the decriminalizing of weed are targeting this audience to mobilize the electoral vote to expand access to medical marijuana. And guess which demographic group of America votes in the greatest numbers? That’s right—seniors.
One organization is touring retirement homes in Florida, a state with a large number of seniors who are mostly all registered to vote, (24% of eligible voters in the state), and presenting noted speakers advocating support of legislation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Florida. They are mostly finding an interested audience.
Not Just for “Pot Heads”
One woman came away convinced. “I want some cannabis. I have back pain and damn it to hell, I want to try it once in my lifetime”, she said with a big smile. Many other seniors say they would eagerly try cannabis, “…if it were legal”. Now, they are wondering why it is not and are open-minded toward helping it become so. One 85-year-old woman said, “Hearing this tonight made me feel I have an obligation to be more supportive. It is wrong to keep this from people who are benefiting without any crime, killing or hurt to anybody.”
Organizers report that when advertising these advocacy events, two words always work better than any others: “Free Buffet”. And once they are fed, attendees learn that marijuana isn’t just used by “pot heads” and youngsters, it has significantly improved the quality of life of thousands of seniors just like them in other states that have a more permissive nature.
Weed Laws May Go Up in Smoke
A large number of Boomers embrace the notion of a natural, organic lifestyle. Rather than relying upon big pharmaceutical companies for solutions to bring comfort to their changing health needs, using their old friend “Mother Nature” just makes a lot more sense to them. But first, there’s that little issue of legality that has to be addressed.