Posted on 20 February 2018
Ian Hamilton, Mental Health lecturer writes for The Conversation on the subject of why the older generation are turning to using cannabis.
When most people think of cannabis users, they probably think mainly of the younger generations. But it’s actually the 45 to 64 age group who show the highest proportion of household spending on cannabis.
Recent figures on cannabis use in Canada found nearly 5m people aged between 15 and 64 spent an estimated 5.7 billion dollars on cannabis during 2017. That’s one in five people in this age group. Most of this was spent on the drug for recreational rather than medical, which is currently illegal in Canada.
No surprise then that the cannabis industry in Canada is now bigger than the beer and tobacco industry.
Well, that’s just Canada, you might think, but you would be wrong. In Australia, lifetime cannabis use more than doubled between 2004 and 2013 in the over 50s. The UK has seen similar trends, with lifetime use of cannabis in the 65 to 74 age group rising more than sevenfold between 2000 and 2014. In the US, the rate of self-reported cannabis use over the previous 12 months in people aged 65 and above also jumped massively between 2003 and 2014.