A University of Michigan Poll looked to determine the perspective of people 50 – 80 years of age on marijuana legalization and consuming cannabis. 70% of the people polled could see themselves consuming medical marijuana but they were not very supportive of recreational cannabis.
The marijuana legalization movement has changed a lot of perspectives, apparently the older generation’s as well. Especially considering what has been discovered about medical marijuana, it seems the older generations contending with chronic pain like arthritis and other medical issues may benefit the most from medical marijuana.
Opinions on cannabis vs pharmaceuticals for pain relief: 31 percent of respondents said that cannabis “definitely” provides pain relief, while another 38 percent believed it “probably” does – just 4 percent said they did not believe cannabis provides pain relief and 27 percent were unsure. Nearly half of respondents – 48 percent – said they believed pharmaceutical pain medication was more effective at providing pain relief than cannabis, 39 percent said cannabis and pharmaceuticals provided the same relief, and 14 percent said cannabis was more effective. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they thought prescription pain medication had more side effects than cannabis, while 34 percent believed the side effects between the two were the same, and 9 percent said cannabis had more side effects.
Nearly half of the respondents – 48 percent – believed pharmaceuticals were more addictive than cannabis. Thirty-eight percent believed they were about the same and 12 percent believed cannabis was more addictive.
“These poll results illustrate broad support for marijuana use when recommended by a doctor, but not for recreational use. Older adults perceive marijuana to offer pain relief and to be safer and less addictive than prescription pain medications. Restrictions around prescription pain medications may mean that more people (including older adults) seek out medical marijuana. This highlights the need for rigorous studies on the health effects and safety of marijuana use, especially in older adults.” – University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, April 2018