Note: I apologize in advance. My t key is basically not working (I'm working on it). I have tried to correct everything with spell check, but there may be misssed areas and a he or two!!
In 2005, I fell down a flight of stairs in Germany, landing on my kneecap on the cobblestones. Without going into all the specifics, let's just say that while I did not break the knee, there was much permanent damage. Much of that damage is painful. I cannot wear anything but silky soft fabric on the knee, for example. Add that to my arthritis issues, and I have been looking for alternative therapies, and non prescription pain killers.
One of those alternatives is now pot. That's right folks, I can just go to the store, plunk my money down and walk about with that famous, or infamous drug-in almost any form.
On January 1, stores in Colorado were allowed to sell pot. Other states, including Washington, have of course voted to legalize marijuana sales, but so far only Colorado has put those laws fully into practice. For years, Colorado had a medical marijuana use law, and for the past year it has been legal to smoke or eat, but not legal to purchase except for medicinal purposes. However, since the state had a retail system in place......
When I moved to Colorado the pending laws were often jokingly discussed. I once commented that I was moving to Colorado so that I could be a pot resident, not a pot tourist. And here I am.
When those stores opened on January first (and afterwards), there were all kinds of people standing in those lines. There were tourists from Kansas and Oklahoma. There were soccer moms, there were bankers. Most importantly, at least for this discussion, there were lots and lots of retirees and boomers. Sure, some were just making a statement after all these years, but most of them were there to use and, as the phrase goes, recreate.
Yes folks, baby boomers have been using marijuana at a constantly increasing rate for the past ten years. Just in the age group of 55 to 59 alone use of the drug has increased from 1.9 percent in 2002 to 6.6 percent in 2012. And here we are in 2014. While that's certainly not a majority of the population, it's a significant increase, and only accounts for those were comfortable admitting use. That increase is higher than the increase in any other single age group, including that of my college student. Use among young people is still higher overall, but has been steadily declining since 1985-in spite of relaxed pot laws and attitudes.
Why is this increase highest among boomers? Who knows? Perhaps there were people who stopped using drugs while kids were in the house ? Perhaps mores have relaxed overall? Like 90 percent of the population of America, when I was in college (68-72) I tried a great many things. I was unable to enjoy pot-probably because I did not smoke and had trouble with the idea of inhaling into my lungs. Also, I liked the flavor of alcohol and wine-and still do.
Recently, the topic has been revisited, if only humorously, in our abode. I have had to give up much of my wine drinking and alcohol because of headaches. Pot is available in a million forms these days, and comes from a million sources. On a very few days, I have lots of pain, and almost every pain medication available for this condition comes with darned side effects. And frankly, while I don't love the inhaling, I do love the end result. I can see myself sitting on the patio on the warm weather enjoying that end result-pain or no pain. Whether I can see myself siting on the patio where the neighbors can see or in front of my grown children is another issue entirely.
Will it happen, either for pain or pure enjoyment? I have no idea. I do know that my smoking with friends in the back yard is not going to bring the neighborhood down, increase he crime rate, or turn us all into layabouts. What I don't know is why it's taken society forty years to figure out what a bunch of twenty year olds of that generation already knew-and I'm not just talking about this issue.
Oh, and the coffers of the schools are going to be very full with the additional tax revenue around here!!!!! The price of that particular enjoyment has doubled here, albeit lower than purchasing on the stree.
As for today, I'm off to settle for some old fashioned Sara Lee cheesecake (still partially frozen) and that medicinal glass of red wine!!!