For the first time in decades, Baby Boomers using marijuana is on the rise.
In May of 2004, The Journal Of The American Medical Association, (JAMA) published the results of a study titled “The Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorder in The United States.” While pouring over the the piles of data and words I couldn’t pronounce, I came across this statement… “This study is the first to report significant increases in marijuana use among 45- to 64-year-old men and women combined, as well as a modest but significant increase in marijuana abuse or dependence among 45- to 64-year-old men.”
After getting past the term “marijuana use disorder” (I hate when people call my cocktail a disorder), I suddenly felt not quite as alone in the world. Since the study was done over 10 years ago, and a quick, lazy internet search didn’t produce a newer one, I can only assume that this trend has continued. Could it be that my fellow Baby Boomers, now with the kids raised and the mortgage paid off, are ready to return to the vices of their youth? Or perhaps the effects of the vices of alcohol and prescription drugs are no longer desirable for them?
When everyone in my age group was quitting the weed to become soccer Moms and civic club Dads, I quietly maintained my relationship with the joy of getting high. I always felt in the minority because of this. But since some of my fellow oldsters are coming back to the herb, I see an opportunity to appoint myself as their guide back into the marijuana lifestyle. Please remember, all insights given here are my own and based on my experience as an elder pot head.
The first thing you’re going to notice is the stuff is a lot more expensive. The days of the $10 bag are gone. Or if somebody does have a dime for sale, you probably don’t want it. But the extra money is worth it because you’re also going to find the weed works a lot better these days. There were indeed some excellent strains back in the 60s and 70s, but living in the mid-south they were the exception and not the rule. Or perhaps I just had crappy connections. You are going to find today’s strains much more effective in the narcotic department. While you were off being a regular John Q. Citizen, the growers have been messing with Mother Nature. Test the waters before you dive in too deeply.
You may recall having to use a tray and a card to roll the seeds out of your smoke? You aren’t going to need it much, if at all, these days, thanks to effective breeding practices by most growers. I only find seeds when I come across something called brick or cartel weed, which has been compacted so tight it resembles a dirt clod. This usually denotes that it was smuggled across borders. While the price may be lower, the quality probably is too. There’s a good chance someone is growing something much more delectable right in your neighborhood. Support local growers! Buy American!
Of course, at our age, finding a someone to buy weed from can be hard. There’s a very real chance that your connection will wind up being 20 to 30 years your junior. If you were born long before the invention of cable TV, like me, young people tend to look at you as a cop or some other authority figure.
There isn’t a sure fire way to overcome this. Just walking up to someone who looks the part and asking if they have any product will never work out well. The only real advice is go hang out at places that seem marijuana friendly. Pubs, not clubs. If you walk in and everyone is dancing with glow sticks, move along, you won’t understand. Festivals are a better place in some cases. I’d avoid the Van’s tour. They’ll throw you in a mosh pit and mess up your hip surgery.
If you do find a younger connection, they’re going to use words you’re not really going to understand. Kush, chronic, schwag, names of fruit, as well as other strange utterances will come from the mouths of these babes. Don’t try to act like you understand. It will only make you look stupid. Instead, ask questions. Revel in your ignorance on the subject. They seem to really enjoy explaining what the pot culture has become to an elder newb.
You’re going to see a huge difference in smoking devices. A trip through a head shop is like me a in a sex shoppe. Somethings I recognize. Others are foreign, strange, and alarming. There are still the familiar bongs and pipes, although those have evolved over the years as well. They make bongs that do the draw for you now. No more sucking on them until your eyes collapse into your head.
Glass pipes are still all the rage, but the most new and innovative smoking devices are vaporizers. These tools use a heating element to burn your product and prepare the hit for you. There are a plethora of types and sizes. They can be used for dried leafy herb, but can also be used for something known as wax, shatter, or by the more recognizable name, hash oil. If you are lucky enough to come into possession of this, beware! Hash oils/waxes/tinctures can contain up to 80% THC. Tread very lightly when experimenting with these. Don’t apply for home loans or do your taxes while under the influence.
Of all these different forms of cannabis derivatives, edibles have evolved the most of all. Gone are the days of the bulky, chewy brownies as the only choice for internal marijuana consumption. There is candy now! Yes, I said candy! There are also muffins, soda pops, cakes and even butter that can be used in preparation of favorite dish. Only in the 21st century can you get the munchies while eating your munchies, thus perpetuating an eternal cycle of bliss. Is this Xanadu at last?
So my aged kindred who have started again, I bid you a hearty hail and welcome back! Things have changed, but in many ways, they are the same. It’s time to kick back and relax again. You’ve already accomplished the hardest tasks in life—raising a family, pursuing a career. What say we burn one and chill out while contemplating the sunset? I think we’ve earned it.