Are Baby Boomers Ready To Give MJ a Second Chance?

Apr 15, 2014

Are aging baby boomers ready to rekin­dle a long-ago love affair with mar­i­juana? That is a weighty ques­tion for cul­tural anthro­pol­o­gists and cool-eyed busi­ness ana­lysts alike as the once cel­e­brated, later maligned, but explic­itly con­tra­band cannabis plant goes legit — for the first time in nearly 80 years — in a new era of med­ical and recre­ational use. For many who smoked mar­i­juana in their dorms in the ’60s and ’70s, it was an act of rebel­lion, a com­mu­nal expe­ri­ence, and maybe a polit­i­cal state­ment. Today’s prod­uct is more likely to be mar­keted as anti-inflammatory than anti-establishment. And, to the dis­tinct dis­com­fort of some, it may come in a neat cor­po­rate pack­age rather than an illicit nickel bag. “I remem­ber the smoke-filled the­aters of our col­lege years,” said Kathryn Maynes, 57, a Bea­con Hill boomer who works for a real estate devel­op­ment firm. “There was the oblig­a­tory ‘Reefer Mad­ness’ (film) on the screen and peo­ple blow­ing weed. It was very socia­ble. You didn’t just light up and have a joint to your­self. It was inclu­sive, it was friendly.” Maynes, how­ever, gave up mar­i­juana in her 20s and never returned, partly because it left her with feel­ings of anx­i­ety. “If it were legal­ized tomor­row for recre­ational use, I would think twice about it,” Maynes said. “If I did it, it would only be with peo­ple I really trust.” In fact, 20 states, includ­ing Mass­a­chu­setts, already have legal­ized mar­i­juana for med­ical pur­poses, while Col­orado and Wash­ing­ton state have made recre­ational mar­i­juana legal. Fully three quar­ters of Amer­i­cans have told poll­sters that they now see legal­iza­tion for recre­ational use as inevitable, accord­ing to Mar­tin A. Lee, direc­tor of Project CBD, a med­ical mar­i­juana infor­ma­tion ser­vice, and author of “Smoke Sig­nals,” a social his­tory of mar­i­juana. “On a cul­tural level, the debate is vir­tu­ally over,” said Lee. “It’s widely rec­og­nized that mar­i­juana has health ben­e­fits. For baby boomers who got high in the ’60s and ’70s, their expe­ri­ence was largely benign. And now it’s becom­ing main­stream. It’s not just long-haired rebels and ston­ers. It’s Mom and Dad, Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats, a real slice of Amer­ica.” Marijuana’s use for med­i­c­i­nal pur­poses dates back to ancient China. In the United States, it was used in a vari­ety of treat­ments from the 1850s to the 1930s when, after get­ting snared in the Prohibition-era drag­net, it was made ille­gal. The plant was for­mally removed from the US Dis­pen­satory, a com­pendium of med­i­cines, in 1942. But after a resur­gence among hip­pies and col­lege stu­dents in the 1960s, it emerged as a pop­u­lar, though ille­gal, treat­ment in the 1980s for AIDS patients who found it could dull pain, stim­u­late appetite, and relieve nau­sea. That inspired a cam­paign to legal­ize or decrim­i­nal­ize med­ical mar­i­juana in Cal­i­for­nia and other states. Since then, “it’s sort of been a U-turn back to the time when mar­i­juana was widely used in med­i­cine,” Lee said. The momen­tum was aided by a redis­cov­ery of strains con­tain­ing cannabid­iol, called CBD, a mar­i­juana com­po­nent with low lev­els of the psy­choac­tive agent THC. That has made it more appeal­ing as a ther­apy for treat­ing dis­eases rang­ing from can­cer and Alzheimer’s to dia­betes, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, chronic pain, alco­holism, psy­chosis, and depres­sion. Stud­ies project the growth of a $10 bil­lion legal mar­i­juana indus­try by 2018, and entre­pre­neurs and investors are scram­bling to cap­i­tal­ize. In addi­tion to grow­ers and sell­ers, sup­port ser­vices and enabling tech­nolo­gies have been crop­ping up in the emerg­ing niche. “We’ve devel­oped two prod­ucts that can help the baby boom gen­er­a­tion adapt to all of the choices out there,” said David Gold­stein, com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor for Pot­botics, a Palo Alto, Calif., startup. “A lot of them feel over­whelmed by the con­sumer buy­ing process.” Later this year, Pot­botics plans to launch Brain­Bot, a high-frequency mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem that can be used in doc­tors’ offices to eval­u­ate the brain’s reac­tion to mar­i­juana and rec­om­mend which strains might reduce anx­i­ety or elim­i­nate insom­nia for spe­cific patients. The com­pany also plans to roll out Pot­Bot, a rec­om­men­da­tion engine in the form of an avatar that can sug­gest mar­i­juana options for med­ical and recre­ational uses. “You don’t need a doc­tor to talk to the avatar,” Gold­stein said, sug­gest­ing an older gen­er­a­tion may see a “par­a­digm shift” in how mar­i­juana is viewed in pop­u­lar cul­ture. “In the past, baby boomers used mar­i­juana for the same rea­son they didn’t want their kids to use it. They were abus­ing the sub­stance. But with the end of pro­hi­bi­tion, everything’s been going in a good direc­tion,” Gold­stein said. “We’re giv­ing jobs to tax­pay­ing Amer­i­cans rather than the black mar­ket or Mex­i­can car­tels.” Younger gen­er­a­tions may have fewer qualms about the emerg­ing mar­i­juana busi­ness. Justin Des­jardins, a 35-year-old Worces­ter man who works for a renew­able energy firm, said his high school bas­ket­ball career was ended when he was caught with mar­i­juana, which he con­sid­ered a vic­tim­less crime. More recently, after he injured his leg play­ing foot­ball at a fam­ily gath­er­ing, he said he has used it med­ically to help him cope with arthri­tis. “I always thought that you should just make it legal,” Des­jardins said. “Peo­ple are find­ing out it’s some­what of a mir­a­cle drug. I have no prob­lem with it going cor­po­rate if it means you won’t ruin people’s lives if they got caught with a cou­ple of joints.” Source: Boston Globe (MA) Author: Robert Weis­man, Globe Staff Pub­lished: April 13, 2014 Copy­right: 2014 Globe News­pa­per Com­pany Con­tact: letter@​globe.​com Web­site: http://​www​.boston​.com/​g​l​o​be/

f8fe5dc052ijuana.jpg 150x100 Are Baby Boomers Ready To Give MJ a Second Chance?

See more here:
Are Baby Boomers Ready To Give MJ a Sec­ond Chance?

Related Posts

Leave a Comment