Stoned Boomers Boozing

December 20, 2016

Toker TVSlivers of sunshine this early Tuesday on California’s north coast, but mostly gray-overcast.

Marijuana’s sense of old-people history — although in a more lax environment then a generation ago, teen drug/alcohol use is down at a level not seen in decades. Now a new study shows boomers becoming stoners.
The bottom-side up — from the Washington Post on Sunday:

A decade ago, roughly 4.5 percent of people ages 50 to 64, and 0.4 percent of seniors age 65 and up, had used marijuana in the past year.
By 2013, those numbers had increased to 7.1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
In percentage terms, marijuana use among 50- to 64-year-olds increased by 57.8 percent, while among seniors ages 65 and up, it ballooned by a whopping 250 percent.

(Illustration: ‘Cannabis and Politics,’ by Denis Marsili, found here).

This does not include those of us already smoking, and have been for 40 years or more, and we of this class felt no movement in use — except to the bowels, maybe.


“The trends noted in our study are likely capturing a major transition in the aging of the Baby Boomer generation,” the authors write, “and highlights how this cohort of older adults are different in substance use behaviors compared to the generation before it.”
And since there are still plenty of boomers under 65, the trend toward increased drug use in old age is likely to continue in the next decade, they add.

In the same Post article, a second study on boomers and booze, especially on the surge of binge drinking:

For starters, older adults are still way more likely to drink than they are to smoke pot — 63 percent had drunk alcohol in the past year in the period from 2013 to 2014.
But from a public health standpoint, researchers are more concerned about the prevalence of binge drinking — having five or more drinks on the same occasion.

And while older men (21.5 percent) are more than twice as likely to binge drink as older women (9.1 percent), the rate of binging has increased much more rapidly among women in recent years, increasing 44 percent from 2005 to 2006, when only 6.3 percent binge drank.

And on the subject of alcohol and marijuana, booze makes a fighting spirit, while pot creates cool, always seemed that way to me. If you just got stoned, there’s less chance of a ruckus, but add some alcohol to the mix, and the proverbial-shit hits the fan.
New research on an old topic was published last July, but I just spied the abstract results yesterday at SpringerLink:

Subjective aggression significantly increased following aggression exposure in all groups while being sober.
Alcohol intoxication increased subjective aggression whereas cannabis decreased the subjective aggression following aggression exposure.
Aggressive responses during the PSAP increased following alcohol and decreased following cannabis relative to placebo.
Changes in aggressive feeling or response were not correlated to the neuroendocrine response to treatments.
It is concluded that alcohol facilitates feelings of aggression whereas cannabis diminishes aggressive feelings in heavy alcohol and regular cannabis users, respectively.

The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression following aggression exposure.
Future studies examining the drug-aggression relationship should investigate additional variables, such as consumption patterns of alcohol and drug use, different alcohol and/or drug doses, combined with neuroendocrine measures associated with aggression.
A multi-causal approach might be more effective in identifying healthy individuals who are particularly at risk of engaging in intoxicated aggression following exposure to aggression.

Pot is indeed cool. (SFGate last July): ‘The data mirror police reports from the field, where Washington DC’s police chief Cathy Lanier said all pot arrests do “is make people hate [cops].”
“Alcohol is a much bigger problem [than marijuana],” Lanier told a crowd in 2015.
“Marijuana smokers are not going to attack and kill a cop. They just want to get a bag of chips and relax.”

Unless you’re a half-demented boomer, stoned and drunk…

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