Aug. 19, 2023 – The numbers of older Americans trying pot increased further to 35% in 2021, the researchers noted, because the survey methodology changed during the pandemic. In the slightly younger 60-64 demographic, more than half reported cannabis use. “For seniors, experimenting with marijuana for the first time is driven” by several factors, Dr. Elie G. Aoun, addiction and forensic psychiatrist at Columbia University in New York City, told Fox News Digital.

These include “a combination of physical ailments, the increased cultural acceptance of marijuana and the marketing efforts aimed at promoting marijuana as a therapeutic agent,” added Aoun, who is also a member of the American Psychiatric Association board of trustees.

He noted that older people are experimenting with the drug “despite the lack of evidence to support its wide use.”

More than a decade ago, only 1% of people 65 and older reported having used marijuana in the past month compared to five times that number in 2021.

As Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize cannabis in June, a majority of adults in virtually every other age group have experimented with it at least once, according to the survey.

Marijuana — which can also be called cannabis — is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it in 2019,” according to the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

It has several other names, including weed, pot or dope, inspired by parts of the cannabis plant — which has more than 100 compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can be mind-altering.

It also contains other active compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD), that do not cause a “high.”