More older Americans are smoking cannabis than ever before

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis consumption amongst older Americans is significantly more common now than it was back in the 1980s, according to a recent study on adult cannabis consumption.

Researchers discovered how two particular age groups are 20 times more likely to consume the plant nowadays in comparison with the number of older Americans consuming cannabis 30 years ago. Those age groups were ages 50 to 59 and those over 60.
Adult cannabis consumption is becoming more common

It’s not just long-haired rebellious youngsters that are lighting up joints but also, elderly individuals who are capitalizing on the legalization of cannabis.

More than 40,000 people participated in the study, which analyzed 30 years of survey data on adult cannabis consumption in the past year.

This data is helping to clear the stoner stereotype that is quickly dissipating as more people support cannabis reform.

Despite the fact cannabis use was more widespread among the young consumers as opposed to the older consumers during the 30-year study, the real rise in consumption is more noticeable among the older generation.

However, the use rate of Americans aged 18-29 did not change a great deal over the decades, with the research results showing a flat rate in cannabis consumption from 1984 (29.9 percent) to 2015 (29.3 percent).

The same applied for ages 30-39 (18.1 percent in 1984 to 14.8 percent in 2015,) as well as ages 40-49 (9.6 percent in 1984 to 11.7 percent in 2015.)

Researchers detect a cohort effect affecting adult cannabis consumption
Older Americans use cannabis more than they did in the 1980s

Once the information was gathered by the team of researchers, sufficient evidence had been collected to help them ascertain exactly what trends are influencing society’s attitude towards cannabis use.

The researchers concluded that they distinguished a cohort effect; essentially, they identified an indirect effect on cannabis consumption due to age-related influences.

Notably, study subjects who were born prior to World War II rarely consumed the green plant during their lifetime. When this population perished, subsequent generations started using cannabis to a greater extent.

A colossal change transpired when the use of cannabis among baby boomers was studied.

Individuals who were born between the late 1940s and early 1960s maintained a substance-use pattern from adolescence through to their senescence. The baby boomers also engaged in more crime during their youth than their parents did.

Does this mean that the generations to come will consume as much cannabis as their parents?

Well, it’s highly likely, considering the fact that Americans are living in a pro-cannabis world, where legalization is spreading and cannabis consumption is becoming normalized.