The Number of Older Americans Using Marijuana is Skyrocketing

Americans are becoming more tolerant about marijuana as time passes, so it's not surprising that the number of cannabis users is increasing as well. But you may be surprised to find out just how many older people are toking up.

A new study examined survey data from the past 30 years to determine which demographics are using cannabis more than in the past. The researchers found that the only age groups where marijuana use was far more significant than it was 30 years ago were in 50 to 59 year olds and people 60 years old or more. In fact, they found that people over 50 are 20 times more likely to use marijuana than 30 years ago.

older americans using marijuana graph

These results were far different than other age groups. The percentage of people ages 18 to 29 as well 30 to 39 actually decreased from 1984 to now. And the percentage of marijuana users ages 40 to 49 only increased slightly, from 9.6 percent in 1984 to 11.7 percent today.

This shows that perhaps the older generation living today has a different view of cannabis than past older generations. Most surveys have found people born during or before World War Two rarely smoked marijuana, while it was far more common in their children's generation. So as World War Two generation has passed away and their children became the new older generation, they brought their cannabis use along as well.

It will be interesting to see in another 30 years, when marijuana will almost certainly be legal throughout the United States, how many old people will also be marijuana users.

(h/t Washington Post)


In the age of the internet, any schmo off the street could probably name you every superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Every old lady and her dog can provide their hot take on the ongoing Kirk v. Picard debate.