That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Articles, links, and discussions.
Image
Coco
Posts: 444
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 4:30 pm
Location: A Floridian in Texas

That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Coco » February 23rd, 2010, 2:35 pm

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/22/1 ... se-up.html

Marijuana use by seniors goes up as boomers age
Posted on Monday, 02.22.10
By MATT SEDENSKY
Associated Press Writer

MIAMI -- In her 88 years, Florence Siegel has learned how to relax: A glass of red wine. A crisp copy of The New York Times, if she can wrest it from her husband. Some classical music, preferably Bach. And every night like clockwork, she lifts a pipe to her lips and smokes marijuana.

Long a fixture among young people, use of the country's most popular illicit drug is now growing among the AARP set, as the massive generation of baby boomers who came of age in the 1960s and '70s grows older.

The number of people aged 50 and older reporting marijuana use in the prior year went up from 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent from 2002 to 2008, according to surveys from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The rise was most dramatic among 55- to 59-year-olds, whose reported marijuana use more than tripled from 1.6 percent in 2002 to 5.1 percent.

Observers expect further increases as 78 million boomers born between 1945 and 1964 age. For many boomers, the drug never held the stigma it did for previous generations, and they tried it decades ago.

Some have used it ever since, while others are revisiting the habit in retirement, either for recreation or as a way to cope with the aches and pains of aging.

Siegel walks with a cane and has arthritis in her back and legs. She finds marijuana has helped her sleep better than pills ever did. And she can't figure out why everyone her age isn't sharing a joint, too.

"They're missing a lot of fun and a lot of relief," she said.

Politically, advocates for legalizing marijuana say the number of older users could represent an important shift in their decades-long push to change the laws.

"For the longest time, our political opponents were older Americans who were not familiar with marijuana and had lived through the 'Reefer Madness' mentality and they considered marijuana a very dangerous drug," said Keith Stroup, the founder and lawyer of NORML, a marijuana advocacy group.

"Now, whether they resume the habit of smoking or whether they simply understand that it's no big deal and that it shouldn't be a crime, in large numbers they're on our side of the issue."

Each night, 66-year-old Stroup says he sits down to the evening news, pours himself a glass of wine and rolls a joint. He's used the drug since he was a freshman at Georgetown, but many older adults are revisiting marijuana after years away.

"The kids are grown, they're out of school, you've got time on your hands and frankly it's a time when you can really enjoy marijuana," Stroup said. "Food tastes better, music sounds better, sex is more enjoyable."

The drug is credited with relieving many problems of aging: aches and pains, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and so on. Patients in 14 states enjoy medical marijuana laws, but those elsewhere buy or grow the drug illegally to ease their conditions.

Among them is Perry Parks, 67, of Rockingham, N.C., a retired Army pilot who suffered crippling pain from degenerative disc disease and arthritis. He had tried all sorts of drugs, from Vioxx to epidural steroids, but found little success. About two years ago he turned to marijuana, which he first had tried in college, and was amazed how well it worked for the pain.

"I realized I could get by without the narcotics," Parks said, referring to prescription painkillers. "I am essentially pain free."

But there's also the risk that health problems already faced by older people can be exacerbated by regular marijuana use.

Older users could be at risk for falls if they become dizzy, smoking it increases the risk of heart disease and it can cause cognitive impairment, said Dr. William Dale, chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

He said he'd caution against using it even if a patient cites benefits.

"There are other better ways to achieve the same effects," he said.

Pete Delany, director of applied studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said boomers' drug use defied stereotypes, but is important to address.

"When you think about people who are 50 and older you don't generally think of them as using illicit drugs - the occasional Hunter Thompson or the kind of hippie dippie guy that gets a lot of press maybe," he said. "As a nation, it's important to us to say, 'It's not just young people using drugs it's older people using drugs.'"

In conversations, older marijuana users often say they smoke in less social settings than when they were younger, frequently preferring to enjoy the drug privately. They say the quality (and price) of the drug has increased substantially since their youth and they aren't as paranoid about using it.

Dennis Day, a 61-year-old attorney in Columbus, Ohio, said when he used to get high, he wore dark glasses to disguise his red eyes, feared talking to people on the street and worried about encountering police. With age, he says, any drawbacks to the drug have disappeared.

"My eyes no longer turn red, I no longer get the munchies," Day said. "The primary drawbacks to me now are legal."

Siegel bucks the trend as someone who was well into her 50s before she tried pot for the first time. She can muster only one frustration with the drug.

"I never learned how to roll a joint," she said. "It's just a big nuisance. It's much easier to fill a pipe."



Ant
Posts: 2375
Joined: April 17th, 2010, 10:31 am
Location: Here
Contact:

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Ant » February 23rd, 2010, 3:36 pm

Image

:smo7



jojo
Posts: 225
Joined: January 5th, 2010, 6:01 pm

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by jojo » February 23rd, 2010, 3:39 pm

nice 1 grandma! :smo7 :smo7 :smo7 (TU)



Coco
Posts: 444
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 4:30 pm
Location: A Floridian in Texas

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Coco » February 23rd, 2010, 3:53 pm

jojo wrote:nice 1 grandma! :smo7 :smo7 :smo7 (TU)


I confess I was kinda surprised with the 88 year old lady - she's well before the boomer's and the beatnick's time!



Ant
Posts: 2375
Joined: April 17th, 2010, 10:31 am
Location: Here
Contact:

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Ant » February 23rd, 2010, 3:57 pm

Can't go wrong when ya have a few of these too...

Image

(L) (L) (L)

(Yey!)

:tip



I AM ALL I AM
Posts: 7398
Joined: April 10th, 2008, 4:19 am
Location: Within ALL THAT IS
Contact:

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by I AM ALL I AM » February 23rd, 2010, 6:33 pm

I LOVE YOU


G'day Coco. :wave (TH)

I have met quite a few people that are 70+ years of age that smoke marijuana, even a few that deal. (W) :D

In fact, they are usually the ones that you can get what we call in Australia "bush", which is grown naturally in soil in the bush. (W)

:smo7


THANK YOU

Image

Image

WHEN PAIRED OPPOSITES DEFINE YOUR BELIEFS,
YOUR BELIEFS WILL IMPRISON YOU.


What is TRUTH ? . . . .THAT THE ONENESS IS ALL !!!
What is JOY ? . . . . . .ALL THAT THE ONENESS IS !!!
What is LOVE ? . . . . .THE ONENESS THAT IS ALL !!!
What is LIFE ? . . . . . ALL THAT IS THE ONENESS !!!
WHO AM I ? . . . . . . .THE ONENESS THAT ALL IS !!!


Image

Coco
Posts: 444
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 4:30 pm
Location: A Floridian in Texas

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Coco » February 26th, 2010, 2:57 pm

Image



Coco
Posts: 444
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 4:30 pm
Location: A Floridian in Texas

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Coco » February 26th, 2010, 6:36 pm

(EEK)



Coco
Posts: 444
Joined: January 4th, 2010, 4:30 pm
Location: A Floridian in Texas

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by Coco » March 2nd, 2010, 2:45 pm

http://www.aolnews.com/science/artic...hosis/19375292
Study: Pot Smoking Increases Risk of Psychosis
Updated: 16 hours 55 minutes ago

Katie Drummond Contributor

(March 1) -- Before Mike Stultz even ate breakfast, the 17-year-old would start his morning by smoking a joint -- only to bump up with a few hits of marijuana every few hours throughout the day. One year later, he was pulled out of college after suffering from a hallucinatory breakdown.

Stultz had become convinced that his life was playing out on a reality television show, complete with hidden cameras and actors playing his family members, friends and doctors. "I would go see the psychiatrist and be thinking the entire time about what I could do to make good TV," he recalls.

Now 24, Stultz remembers a childhood in suburban Toronto that was healthy and stable. But he started smoking pot after breaking up with his first serious girlfriend, and he's convinced it's what triggered his psychological problems.

"There is no question that the weed was involved in my psychosis," Stultz told AOL News. "Mental health problems are not at all common in my family -- no history on either side of my bloodline."

Stultz's story is emblematic of a larger phenomenon that researchers have been trying to pin down for decades: Does frequent marijuana use, especially among teenagers, increase susceptibility to serious mental health problems?

Now a new study, to be published in the March 2 edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry, is addressing the question using sibling-pair analysis. It's a tactic that studies blood-related siblings, to minimize the chance of variables such as social demographics or genetics interfering with results.

Researchers, based at the Queensland Brain Institute, assumed that most sets of siblings experience a similar family dynamic, cultural milieu and exposure to drugs and alcohol. They found that pot smokers in the study group were at increased risk of psychosis.

In 2006, two major medical journals published findings on the possible link. One of the journals, renowned British publication BMJ, even concluded that 10 percent of all psychosis cases were pot-related.

But every study on the issue thus far has been imperfect: Despite controlling for variables like family history or childhood trauma, researchers were hard pressed to conclude that marijuana use caused psychosis, and not the other way around.

Still, the evidence kept piling up.

''No single study is perfect," Wayne Hall, a professor at the University of Queensland, told the Boston Globe after the 2006 reports. ''But the fact that so many individually imperfect studies so consistently find this relationship adds confidence to the conclusion that the relationship is causal."

Of course, the ultimate test of the reefer madness theory would be to assign a group of teens to regularly smoke marijuana. Researchers would likely have an ample supply of volunteers, given that 20 percent of American teens cop to lighting up, but it's not exactly an ethically feasible possibility.

Among the options that do exist, sibling-pair analysis is one of the best bets to minimize variables. In this new study, researchers examined 3,801 Australian teens, of whom 228 were sibling pairs, who had participated in the Mater University Study of Pregnancy in Brisbane and were born between 1981 and 1984.

When researchers contacted the subjects at the age of 21, those who'd been using pot for at least six years were four times more likely to rank in the top quartile of the PDI, a 21-point index that measures symptoms of delusion. They were also twice as likely to exhibit symptoms of psychosis.

Of the 3,801 participants, 65 were diagnosed with psychosis and 223 suffered from some degree of hallucinations. The longer the teens had been smoking pot, the more likely the adverse outcomes.

Of those who smoked pot for more than six years, 3 to 4 percent went on to develop a psychotic disorder before the age of 21. By comparison, lead study author John McGrath estimates that around 1 percent of people worldwide suffer from psychotic ailments.

The connection between siblings reinforced the study's conclusions. Even after controlling for previous symptoms of psychosis and parents with mental illnesses, an individual with more years since first using cannabis than a sibling had a higher PDI score. For every additional year of pot smoking, a sibling's PDI score would increase by one over that of a brother or sister.

The study also reinforces the suspicion that those who are vulnerable to psychosis are inclined to pick up a joint: Individuals who already exhibited "isolated psychotic symptoms" were also more likely to have started using cannabis at some point during the 21-year study period.

It's a seemingly complex relationship, and one that Paul Armentano, a policy analyst with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), just doesn't buy. While marijuana use has soared in the last few decades, rates of schizophrenia have held steady. "Where's the parallel increase?" he asks.

And people with mental health problems are inclined to ingest "all kinds" of intoxicating substances, of which marijuana is only one, Armentano notes. The legalization advocate admits that marijuana might negatively affect "a very small percentage" of those prone to mental health problems, but he doesn't see reason for outcry.

"We don't outlaw peanuts because a small percentage of people have allergic reactions," he told AOL News. "We educate the community, we regulate where and when peanuts can be exchanged. That seems like it ought to apply to marijuana, too."

Armentano also points to studies that have found no connection between pot and psychosis, like a systematic review out of the United Kingdom just last year. "I don't see any Reuters headlines on those," he said, noting that it's much easier to get research dollars for studies into the adverse effects of marijuana.

For now, the latest research suggests three factors at play: a catalyst for drug use, chronic marijuana smoking and an underlying genetic predisposition to psychotic problems. It's how they intersect that remains a mystery. The triple threat was suggested by a 2005 study out of New Zealand, which tracked 800 people from birth to their mid-20s. Participants with a gene that predisposed them to psychosis, and who smoked pot, were 10 times more likely to suffer a psychotic episode than those with the gene who didn't smoke.

Researchers involved with the latest study also don't know how much marijuana participants were smoking, which McGrath likens to "pack-years in tobacco research" that helped science pin down the health risks of cigarette smoking. "We are still looking at correlation, not causation," he said in an interview with AOL News.

Despite the study's limitations, it offers more heft to a consistent pattern of evidence. And it's a trend that McGrath wants to see reinforced in public health education.

"On the 'balance of probability,' the current data suggests that early cannabis use increases the risk of later psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders," he said. "It is not as harmless as some people think. We need to educate the community about these risks."

On that, both Armentano and Stultz agree. "Legalization is the best way to harness control over who can use marijuana and teach people about the potential downsides," Armentano said.

Stultz, now a graduate student in international relations, recently suffered a bipolar relapse after cutting back on his medication. He anticipates a lifelong struggle with his mental health, but acknowledges that several of his friends still smoke pot without problems. "Why are my buddies fine and I'm sick?" he asked. "Whether it has to do with weed or not, I'd like to see some research into that."



I AM ALL I AM
Posts: 7398
Joined: April 10th, 2008, 4:19 am
Location: Within ALL THAT IS
Contact:

Re: That Ain't Tobacco in Grandpa's Pipe

Unread post by I AM ALL I AM » March 2nd, 2010, 9:42 pm

I LOVE YOU


G'day Coco. :wave (TH)

:lol44 Considering that psychologists believe that emotions are a psychosis, any findings that they make are distorted to the point of idiocy. Nowadays you have psychologists prescribing anti-depressants because people feel depressed, which might simply be because they had a family member die, or they are not happy in the job that they are doing.

Having smoked a minimum of a half an ounce per week for four years straight (usually three quarters an ounce per week (W) ), which would be considered heavy use, I can vouch that there were no 'negative' results from me doing so. Apart from the pain relief that allowed me to get up and do more things, there were other benefits that ranged from enhanced mental functioning to an increased awareness of my own physical senses and connection with the environment that I was inhabiting.

The one thing that I will state about it that could be viewed as a 'negative' is that there is a difference between use and abuse. Those with an addictive personality are more likely to abuse marijuana and thus fail to gain from the benefits that this wonderful plant offers, which can then spiral into projecting 'symptoms of psychosis' that they already had prior to abusing marijuana.


THANK YOU

Image

Image

WHEN PAIRED OPPOSITES DEFINE YOUR BELIEFS,
YOUR BELIEFS WILL IMPRISON YOU.


What is TRUTH ? . . . .THAT THE ONENESS IS ALL !!!
What is JOY ? . . . . . .ALL THAT THE ONENESS IS !!!
What is LOVE ? . . . . .THE ONENESS THAT IS ALL !!!
What is LIFE ? . . . . . ALL THAT IS THE ONENESS !!!
WHO AM I ? . . . . . . .THE ONENESS THAT ALL IS !!!


Image

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic