Along with the rising tide of aging Baby Boomers, the number of seniors who use marijuana has increased in the years between 2002 and 2012, according to data from Canada’s Community Health Survey. This generation of older adults came of age in a time when marijuana use was common and now many seniors are returning to the habit for relief from pain, nausea or muscle spasms.
Vancouver recently became the first Canadian city to regulate and license medical marijuana dispensaries. There are nearly 100 of the dispensaries in the city and approximately 40,000 Canadians are authorized to possess medical marijuana; this is a dramatic rise from the 100 authorized users in 2001, according to Health Canada.
As medical marijuana use rises among seniors, residential care facilities will need to develop strategies to navigate the potential mine-field of issues regarding dosing, storage and the well-being of all residents.
For information about the side effects and warnings related to marijuana use, visit Health Canada’s Consumer Information – Cannabis page at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/marihuana/info/cons-eng.php .