As the U.S. becomes more comfortable with the end of cannabis prohibition, many of the arguments sustaining the drug war will come to be acknowledged as being the ridiculous propaganda that they were. For example, the lie about marijuana being the gateway drug that sends a person spiraling down the path of hard drug use and criminal activity is being completely overthrown as even recreational legalization is simply not causing these problems.
Now we see another interesting phenomenon in regards to the legalization of medical marijuana. In California, where many opponents of legalization have insisted that lawful cannabis would cause the greatest spike in herb use among the state’s young people, quite the opposite is proving true, as citizens over the age of 55 are now the fastest growing demographic of pot users.
“The 55-and-older crowd is now the fastest-growing demographic of pot users in the country. Between 2013 and 2014, the number increased from 2.8 million to 4.3 million.” [Source]
Although they account for only 14% of the US population, seniors age 55 and up account for some 30% of the nation’s prescription drug use. Many of the medicines being consumed by seniors are highly addictive painkillers with seriously detrimental side effects well-known to the government and the pharmaceutical industry.
As truthful knowledge of the plant’s genuine medical benefits spread, more and more seniors are turning to cannabis for assistance with the many medical complications associated with aging.
As CBS New reports, Steve DeAngelo, owner of Harborside Medical Dispensary in Oakland, has been actively promoting cannabis to seniors, with great effect, as many of his customers now are in this demographic. His intentions for promoting to this age group are actually two-fold, however, firstly to help them find healthy alternatives to dangerous to pharmaceutical drugs, and secondly because those in this age group are typically the most outspoken advocates of prohibition.
“There’s [an] ironic, almost tragic phenomenon, which is that seniors, who are one of the groups who can most benefit from use of cannabis, are the single group which remains most opposed to reforming cannabis laws.” Steven DeAngelo
As with any medicine, cannabis is not without its drawbacks or risks, but legalization makes it possible for people to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions regarding which medicines they use to care for themselves.
The days of prohibition are now shorter than ever, and as more people are given the freedom to choose without the risk of legal consequences, the movement towards full national legalization will only gain steam.