Cannabis in Colorado History & Boomers’ Cannabis Use Patterns

MJ weedColorado is the home of legal medical and recreational cannabis, and come to find out,  we have history with this stuff. When Colorado became a state back in 1876, both hemp and cannabis could be grown legally, and they stayed that way for decades. By the late 1800s, cannabis oil was a common ingredient in medical tinctures. Asian-style hashish dens were common in larger cities like New York and San Francisco. Increasing popularity led to concerns that hashish would lead to mass addiction, and in 1906 the federal government imposed the first regulation on cannabis intended for consumption: A product simply had to be labeled if it contained the herb.

Between 1915 and 1917, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada all banned cannabis, and in March 1917, Colorado legislators made the use and cultivation of cannabis a misdemeanor. Those who broke the law were subject to a fine up to $10 and a month in jail, part of the growing national temperance movement that led to Prohibition in 1920.

On November 7, 2000, 54% of Colorado voters to approve the use of marijuana in the state for patients with written medical consent. Under this law, patients could possess up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana and cultivate no more than six plants.

Conditions recognized for medical use include: cachexiacancerchronic pain; chronic nervous system disordersepilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizuresglaucomaHIV or AIDSmultiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea. Patients could not use cannabis in public places, or in any manner which might endanger others including operating a vehicle or machinery after medicating.

Since the enactment of Colorado Amendment 64 in November 2012, adults aged 21 or older can grow up to six marijuana plants privately in a locked space and legally possess all marijuana from the plants they grow, and possess up to one ounce of marijuana while traveling,

Since 2012, Colorado sales of cannabis have been staggering! Since legalization, Cannabis sales have topped 13 billion, with 4.5 billion just in 2017. Tax data shows close to 22 million collected just in 2017.

Boomers and Cannabis Use

cannabis budIf you remember the 60s you weren’t there…

According to the most recent iteration of the 40-year-long “Monitoring the Future” study from the University of Michigan, 85 percent of Americans 50 plus have used illegal drugs, including marijuana, in their lifetimes.

Since 2006, marijuana use has increased significantly among adult Americans age 50 plus. A decade ago, roughly 4.5 percent of people ages 50 to 64, and 0.4 percent of seniors above age 65 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 250 percent.

This study, based on over 45,000 responses to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, isn’t the first to note that marijuana use is increasing rapidly among older adults. But it digs more deeply into the demographics of older Americans’ marijuana use, uncovering some interesting findings. For example European-Americans and African-Americans are much more likely to indulge in cannabis than Latinos. Low-income and married Americans are more likely to partake than separated or divorced, but single or widowed Americans use cannabis the most.

Many 50+ Americans are using cannabis to deal with mental health issues. Among those 50 and older, people who have suffered with depression or anxiety in the past year are much more likely to use cannabis medically. A number of studies have shown a link between marijuana use and mental disorders. Given the widespread prevalence of medical marijuana laws, some seniors may be turning to cannabis as an alternative treatment for the ailments of old age.

One study found that Medicare reimbursements for a number of common prescription medications dropped sharply after the introduction of medical marijuana laws. 

Medical or not, it’s clear that the rise in cannabis use among older adults is driven by the aging of the baby-boom generation, who dabbled extensively with cannabis in their youth and may be returning to it in old age for a variety of reasons.

Let’s face it. Most Boomers are different in their views of cannabis use compared to the generation before them, and since there are still plenty of boomers under 65, this trend toward increased use in old age is likely to continue into the future.

It is important to note that in some countries, like Israel, medical use of cannabis is considered standard treatment. Medical marijuana use has been permitted in Israel since the early 1990s for cancer patients and others with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients can smoke cannabis, ingest it in liquid and caplet form, or apply it to the skin as a balm.

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ALL KINDS of BOOMER LOVE for YOU!

clearer when in loveIsn’t Valentine’s Day crazy? Talk about a great gimmick to sell crap. I so dislike the way capitalism turns everything and everyone into a commodity to be manipulated, but this isn’t about that at all! This is about what a great idea it was to create a holiday totally based on LOVE. I think we should celebrate love every single day. After all, without love, where would we be?

So let’s start out with a post about LOVE from Carol Cassara: Love gives our lives meaning, whether we have a mate or not. That’s why I like to think of Valentine’s Day as covering love of all kinds, including maternal, filial, love we have for friends–the whole gamut.”

Sue from Australia says: At Valentine’s Day our thoughts turn to love and especially the love of a partner. But Sue Loncaric from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond wants to talk about a more important kind of love – Self-Love: The ability to appreciate who we are and love that person fiercely. Go see why we need to love and value yourself first, before expecting others to feel that way about you.

Happy V Day

After being divorced for several years, Jennifer, over at Unfold and Begin, knew it was time to wade back into the dating pool. She decided that online dating was the way to go. Here she shares her experience and guidance: Yes, It’s possible To Meet The Love Of Your Life Online.

For many, Valentine’s Day conjures up images of flowers, chocolate, hearts and often young love. But Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting instead chooses to peek into the lives of a married couple who have spent years of Valentine’s Days together the “Old Folks Way,” an oldie but goodie posted Valentine’s Day 2012.

Rebecca Olkowski of BabyBoomster.com says: Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day especially if you aren’t in a relationship. But, there is a solution. Rebecca suggests planning a Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends. Friends who are always there to support you.

old Charleston graveTom isn’t so sure he can fit his writings into our LOVE theme this week. He just knows he loves to visit Charleston in the winter. Tom Sightings, like many retirees, typically turns February into an extended snowbird trip to a warmer climate. This week in Sightings of Charleston he posts pictures of the historical city and asks for your feedback on a photo project he’s doing for his learning-in-retirement class.

And finally, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, wants to teach you a bit about Valentine’s Day economics, or what she calls “the cost of love.” U.S. consumers are expected to spend an average $143.56 on Valentine’s Day an increase from last year’s $136.57. Total spending is expected to reach $19.6 billion, up from $18.2 billion last year. The numbers are the second-highest in 15 years, topped only by the record $146.84 and $19.7 billion in 2016.

LOVE in LaLaLand

I just want to remind you all what real, mature, durable, sustainable boomer love is all about! I’m living it everyday and so I can assure you: All You Need is Love!

 

 

Love: The Only Why

So here we are facing Valentine’s Day again, a Hallmark holiday whose origins, much like Halloween, are rooted in pagan partying. This lovers’ holiday traces its roots to raucous annual Roman festivals where men stripped naked, grabbed goat or dog skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility, so says classics professor Noel Lenski at University of Colorado, Boulder. What do pagan parties have to do with love? Nothing.

After being abused in most of my early relationships and spending most of my adult life without any idea what love feels like, I spent some serious time after my divorce around age 49, studying love and how I had missed out on it so completely.

How had I lost my ability to trust anyone else? Did I want to spend the rest of my life that way? Time was up for me.

It was time to decide, would I ever believe in love again?

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I was quite lucky. After decades of struggle, study, and contemplation I finally met someone who was worthy of my love. Of course I didn’t know that at first. In my case I felt certain of his love whenever I was around him, but completely uncertain when I wasn’t. It took me a long time to truly trust him with my heart, but he was always patient and loving around my trust issues.

For us it was a life and death struggle in a world full of complete nonsense. He had a chronic illness which had challenged his will to live for decades. I had lost my will to live after so many decades of disappointment with the human race. He wanted to find new reasons to live, and he wanted to help me find new sources of joy.

West peak and Buddha in snow

We decided to make life great again TOGETHER…

From this I have learned that when you struggle together against great odds, you can build a powerful, trusting relationship, and you will never be the same after sharing struggles like this.

Thirteen years later we still face many health challenges, but we know we will face them together and we will find a way to win.

Happy Gut, Happy Life!

I wish to share something I’ve been learning a lot about lately. I have been experiencing a bad and surprisingly virulent intestinal infection in the past few months. Through this I have learned BIG TIME that nearly everything about our health, for example, how we feel both physically and emotionally, hinges on the state of our microbiome or intestinal organisms. Since I started having intestinal distress, it has become quite clear to me that dysfunction in my gut causes much confusion in my brain.

gut brainMost have no idea that our intestinal organisms, or microbiome, participates in a wide variety of bodily systems, including immunity, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin production, nutrient absorption, feelings of hunger or fullness, and how we utilize carbohydrates and fat. All of these processes factor into whether you experience chronic health problems like allergies, asthma, ADHD, cancer, type 2 diabetes, or dementia.

Your microbiome also affects your mood, your libido,  your perceptions of the world and especially your clarity of thought. A dysfunctional microbiome can be at the root of headaches, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and even a negative outlook on life. Neurologists are now finding that no other system in the body is more sensitive to changes in gut bacteria than the central nervous system. The good news? They are now seeing dramatic turnarounds in brain-related conditions with simple dietary modifications or with techniques to reestablish a healthy microbiome.

Scientists are learning that this intimate relationship between the gut and the brain goes both ways, which means that just as your brain can send pain to your gut, your gut can relay its own state of calm or alarm to the brain.

vagus nerveThe vagus nerve, the longest of 12 cranial nerves, is the primary channel between millions of nerve cells in our intestinal nervous system and our central nervous system. The vagus extends from the brain stem to the abdomen, directing many bodily processes that don’t require thought, like heart rate and digestion. Bacteria in your gut directly affect the function of the cells along the vagus nerve, in other words, our gut’s nerve cells and microbes release neurotransmitters that speak to the brain in its own language.

We have so many neurons in our gut that many scientists are now calling this our “second brain.” This brain not only regulates muscle function, immune cells, but also manufactures an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the serotonin, our “feel-good” neurotransmitter. This means your gut’s brain makes more serotonin than the brain in your head.

This is why many neurologists and psychiatrists are now realizing antidepressants can be less effective in treating depression than proper dietary changes.

To this I can only say Live and Learn! It’s funny how we don’t learn about these interesting bodily connections until we notice them in ourselves! Take care of your gut and it will take care of you.

Ask the Expert: Mistakes in Dating after 40

Love imageOn the anniversary of when I first met Mike thirteen years ago, it seems we are celebrating the  “Super Bowl Sunday for Love.” Yes, according to  Match.com, after collecting over 20 years of data, tomorrow will bring a 42 percent increase in new singles to their site, thus maximizing your chances to find love again.

How to Believe in Love Again!I’ll bet you didn’t know that around half of single Americans have an online dating profile up somewhere. But for me, this brings up the biggest mistake most make when it comes to looking for and finding love later in life. If you have not dealt with your baggage from past relationships, if you have simply moved on after past romantic disasters, your luck at love will never change. Yes, you may find another victim to fall in love with. It may even feel wonderful for a year or two, but if deep inside you are filled with shame and doubt about yourself, no one else can decide to fix that but you.

If nothing changes within you from one relationship to another, than the results will be similar… and you know you don’t want that!

And if you are one of the millions who say, “Yeah, but people can’t change,” than I feel sorry for you. Because if you believe that, than it is true. One well-kept secret in our world today is that midlife is the perfect time to change your life. And when I say life, I mean everything about it!

No matter how miserable you may feel about your life up until now, if you are perfectly clear about wanting something completely different and are willing to commit to that goal, your life will change.

And in that process you will find the life you were meant to live, just as I did around age 50. If anyone had said to me, when I was in the worst of midlife slumps back in 2004: “Your life will change and in thirteen years you will be happily married, retired and living in a fantastic solar home in rural southern Colorado!” I probably would have slapped them and said “Get real!”

Believe in love in the sandsBut I have learned how to get past all the exterior nonsense and focus like a laser on what means the most to me in each moment of my life. I saw that I needed to find a way to believe I was worthy of genuine, lifelong love from a wonderful human being, and then I met him. Then I saw that I was worthy of a safe, comfortable, efficient place to live, and Mike and I manifested that dream recently.

My frustration is in how few people believe and achieve their most important life goals because they do not realize this is all within reach. When I discovered how much I could personally change myself and my fate, I wanted to share this knowledge with others, but most ignore me.

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Knowing and speaking our truth is the most powerful tool we all have!

It’s a brand new year and day! These books will help you think about the rest of your life. I would be happy to sell them to you as cheaply as I can, to prepare you for a much better existence. Find the love you have been searching for forever and the life you can love living.

At least get the last few decades of your life right…