EUGENE, Ore. -- The generation that grew up before marijuana culture began are now reaching for the drug as they get older, a new study shows.
The study was published in the journal “Drug and Alcohol Dependence” and says between 2015 and 2016, about 9 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 used marijuana in the previous year.
That’s up from 7 percent reported in 2013.
KEZI 9 News spoke with Michael Benson, who works next to a medical marijuana shop in Springfield. Benson said the number of older people going in there has been shocking.
“It’s a lot older crowd than I expected,” Benson said.
Benson said he believes older people are using marijuana to ease aches and pains and said he uses it for a similar reason.
“I think it can be a big help for anxiety,” Benson said. “That’s why I use it. I used to take anxiety pills, and I found this worked better for me.
Elena Gonzalez, an employee at Southern Oregon Alternative Medicine, said she believes the attitude around marijuana is changing.
“If you look at it more as a medication, which is what these older people are doing now, they see it in a different light, which is something that we’re working really hard to do her in Oregon is to take the stigma away from cannabis,” Gonzalez said.