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March 07, 2010

Senior Citizens: the Key to “Legalization”

Despite the refusal of conventional media and spineless politicians (is there any other kind?) to face reality, I’ve been predicting that a sea change in public opinion on cannabis prohibition should begin rather abruptly in 2011 and become increasingly evident with each passing year. That forecast was based primarily on the demographics of the population of pot applicants I’ve been studying for over eight years; 96% of whom were born during or after 1946, which just happens to have been the first year of the Baby Boom. With at least half of all “kids” (adolescents) surveyed since 1975 admitting that they’d tried “weed” by the age 18; also given the consumer loyalty documented among my applicants, it’s very clear that when the first wave of Baby Boomers becomes eligible for Medicare, many of them will be seeking to renew the recommendations they already have. The critical difference is that they won't be easily written off as misguided "druggies;" rather they will become the senior citizens politicians ignore at their peril

An additional (anecdotal) finding I haven’t tried to quantify statistically, but have found remarkably consistent, is that seniors of my own generation (the deluded "moral majority" that elected Nixon in 1968) who never tried pot themselves are extremely resistant to ever using it, even after incurring physical conditions it’s known to palliate. On the other hand, people who tried it during their teens are far more open to its medical use, whether they'd used it in the interim or not. In other words, getting high as an adolescent seems to confer lifetime permission for later medical use, should the need arise.

Quite by accident, I stumbled across a non-medical journal with a vested interest in the health of seniors and discovered that it had done an impressive survey in 2005 that tended to confirm the implications of my data even then. It’s thus even more clear to me that as pot-savvy seniors gradually replace their fathers and grandfathers in the electorate, the politicians they choose will have to reflect their views; that’s particularly true if the crazies now running the American asylum get their fondest wish and defeat Obama’s (not-so-great) health care initiative.

Entirely in keeping with the disconnect that seems to afflict those in authority, the forces of prohibition have looked at the same data and come up with an entirely different interpretation.

We shouldn't have long to wait for an answer; I predict that by 2016 (perhaps even before), there will be a viable cannabis legalization bill before Congress.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at March 7, 2010 06:21 PM