What Happens When You Ask The Counterculture And 'Me' Generations About Medical Marijuana

Would you use marijuana for medical purposes? Do you think others should? Well you might be surprised to know that many older adults—some of the people who did their own marijuana sampling in the 1960s and 1970s—don’t necessarily want it for themselves, but have no qualms about anyone else using it and for whatever purpose.

A new poll by the University of Michigan (U-M) suggests that most older adults accept its use with a doctor’s recommendation, but still want more research. In fact, 4 out of 5 poll respondents between the ages of 50 and 80 said they support allowing medical marijuana if it’s recommended by a physician. And some 40% support allowing marijuana use for any reason.


As surprising as that may be, still two-thirds say the government should do more to study the drug’s health effects.

The April 2018 poll, “Older Adults’ Perspectives on Medical Marijuana: National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA)” underscores the fact that as more patients inquire about medical marijuana, it is important for clinicians to become knowledgeable about the potential benefits as well as harms. As additional states consider legalization this year, it is also important that policymakers consider gaps in knowledge about safety and effectiveness of marijuana use, said Preeti Malani, M.D., director of the U-M’s National Poll on Healthy Aging.

“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,” said Malani, who is trained in geriatric medicine and is a professor of internal medicine and an infectious disease specialist at U-M Medical School. Malani currently serves as U-M’s chief health officer and is associate editor of the Journal

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