Senior citizens are reportedly the fastest-growing demographic of marijuana users in America.
As the drug is now legal in more and more states, the senior generation is opening itself up to the uses and benefits of marijuana, with more people using it than ever before.
10 states in the US have now legalised recreational marijuana use, while 33 states have legalised the drug for medicinal use.
Sitting in on a senior citizens lesson about cannabis, VICE spoke to residents of a nursing home in Seattle about the products they were using and how taking the drug has helped them.
One of the residents said:
I don’t know basically anything about [marijuana], so I’m anxious to get some knowledge. There’s a lot to learn in the world if you have your eyes and ears open.
The Seattle nursing home is helping educate its residents by taking them on regular visits to a local dispensary, where experts tell them about the various uses, benefits and types of marijuana.
When asked if they’ll buy anything, one person replied:
If it looks good and the price is right, you bet.
One of the residents, Connie Schick, said:
I like to use my brain, and I’m very open-minded.
For a while, I think I was a little bit worried that if you smoked pot, eventually you’re going to end up living on the street or whatever.
But as my kids got older, and I knew they smoked dope, I said I’d like to try some. The only thing is, it made me sleepy!
Connie added, however, that her kids are supportive of her decision to use the drug, as it helps her with medical issues.
Tracy Willis, the director of corporate development for the nursing homes, said:
I wouldn’t say it was my masterplan, [but] it definitely a by-product of my masterplan, which was to provide education for every resident and member of our communities.
When marijuana was legalised in Washington, everyone was talking about it. There was a Parkinson’s video going around where a gentleman who had never smoked marijuana before in his life was treated basically for his Parkinson’s symptoms.
You can watch it here:
We played that for a group of the residents and they all signed up, the sheet was full. This population is so much more open-minded than most people think.
Like a lot of senior citizens, Connie uses the drug for pain relief, and uses and high CBD muscle rub to help her shoulder pain, and prefers it to taking pain pills.
Not only helping senior citizens, a study conducted last year showed that the legalisation of marijuana has significantly reduced crime in the US, too.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.