Poll: Older adults are okay with medical marijuana

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Few older adults use medical marijuana, but the majority support its use if a doctor recommends it, according to a new poll of 2,007 people ages 50 to 80.

Further, many say they might talk to their doctor about it if they developed a serious health condition.

Four out five of poll respondents between the ages of 50 and 80 say they support allowing medical marijuana if a physician recommends it. Forty percent support allowing marijuana use for any reason.

And two-thirds say the government should do more to study the drug’s health effects, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

“This openness to more research likely speaks to a desire to find safe, alternative treatments to control pain.”

While more than two-thirds of those polled said they thought that marijuana can ease pain, about half said they believed prescription pain medications were more effective.

“While just six percent of our poll respondents said they’d used marijuana for medical purposes themselves, 18 percent said they know someone who has,” says Preeti Malani, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.

“With medical marijuana already legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, and other states considering legalizing this use or all use, this is an issue of interest to patients, providers, and policymakers alike.”

The poll results indicate that while older Americans are accepting of the medical use of marijuana, it’s with a sense of wariness. This may be surprising to those who think of the Baby Boom generation—who are now in their mid-50s to early 70s—as embracing marijuana use in their youth in the 1960s and 1970s.

The poll sheds new light on older Americans’

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