Boomers go from Recreational to Medical Use
Dark, dinghy apartments and dorm rooms filled with dense smoke and the tell-tale sweet smell of cannabis. Young people crowded and crouched together sharing bongs, reefers and water pipes.
It was a highly social, cool scene. It was the world of 1960s and 70s where Baby Boomers imbibed in an illegal yet tantalizing world of getting high followed by an insatiable need to devour anything edible.
With great glee, these pot-smoking folks laughed at the hangovers of their alcohol consuming friends. Still, the threat of hefty fines and prison sentences urged most Baby Boomers to leave their bongs and water pipes behind to lead safe and respectable lives.
Medicinal Marijuana Emerges
While the penalties for using marijuana became tough in the 1980s, and users faced criminal records, at the same time, the devastating AIDS epidemic mushroomed. Cannabis emerged from the shadows and became recognized for its medicinal effects in making the lives of AIDS sufferers comfortable by reducing pain, nausea and re-engaging appetites lost to the disease.
The positive effects were indisputable and thus began the campaign to renew it as a therapeutic drug for a myriad of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease to previously unmanageable pain and even depression and other mental illnesses.
The battle to approve marijuana for medical use has been difficult and the key remains responsible and knowledgeable management of its use. Clinics such as Denali Healthcare require thorough documentation about patients’ conditions before administering the drug therapeutically, and help patients’ get what they need for state approval.
How Baby Boomers View Marijuana
As Baby Boomers leave their Flower Power world and enter the years of more profound medical problems, they fight a natural skepticism towards the drugs emergence as a potential medical miracle. On the other hand, recreational use among Boomers is increasing as they embark upon retirement and years of raising families where ‘do as I say, not as I do’ doesn’t cut it.
These Boomers are interested in relaxing with a pleasant high in the evening and don’t really care about the drug’s healing properties.
In conjunction with medical practitioners, todays growers are developing new strains of cannabis, carefully formulated to treat many symptoms including anti-inflammatory agents that work on the brain’s pain centers. Today medical marijuana is legal in 19 states beginning in 2003 in California with its Compassionate Use Act. Today the state is even considering establishing free medical marijuana dispensaries.
The transition may have challenges, but as Boomers realize the medicinal value of their once beloved drug, the euphoria of a momentary high will be replaced by the knowledge of its value in improving their medical quality of life.