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Grandparents smoke pot, too

The baby boomer generation changed America, and still likes to alter reality.

By Rich_Maloof Mar 25, 2013 6:05PM

If you were around 20 years old in 1967, you were at a prime age to enjoy the Summer of Love and all that came with it: the “free love,” the freed minds, the freely flowing substances. Your age puts you at the front end of the baby boomer generation, that massive population that defined a new America with its anti-establishment principles. Oh, and here’s more good news: You're now eligible for Social Security.

Casual relationships and passionate social activism may be well behind most baby boomers today, but some still are enjoying altering their reality. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of adults over age 50 who smoke marijuana has been steadily rising for a decade.

Photo: More grandparents smoking pot / Cavan Images/Getty Images So many older people have come out as pot smokers, The New York Times reports, that one pro-marijuana group has launched Grannies For Grass, an affiliation of happy advocates with chapters in three Midwestern states.

Aging baby boomers helped coin a term and create an age-defying economy around the “midlife crisis,” but that’s not what boomer-toking is about. Quite the contrary, in fact: The crisis for them is over.

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Retirement has liberated many members of the older generation from concerns about work performance, and as empty-nesters their parenting responsibilities are diminished as well. The easing of legal restrictions around marijuana possession and consumption also contribute to a social environment in which grandparents playing pinochle can spark up a joint nearly as casually as they might crack open a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

One interviewee in the NYT piece had no qualms at all about the possibility of bosses identifying her from the newspaper’s story. Pictured in her Ohio home next to a blanket with a giant pot leaf on it, Cher Neufer proudly proclaims, “I don’t care if they know!” Another couple now in their 80s is named by the grandson who occasionally catches a buzz with them.

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Plus, we all know that increasing age can be accompanied by decreasing concern about the judgments of others. Said another way, toking baby boomers probably don’t give a damn what you think about what they smoke. It seems ironic, but the generation who sang along to the Who lyric “Hope I die before I get old” is recovering some of its rebellious spirit with age.

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Photo: More grandparents smoking pot / Cavan Images/Getty Images

432Comments
May 10, 2014 10:40PM
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That is how "Grannies for Grass" was started, thank you. I hope to see more grandparents like us speaking up for these rights. Our children and grandchildren deserve the truth. 
May 10, 2014 10:38PM
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 "The New York Times reports, that one pro-marijuana group has launched "Grannies For Grass" Well that is not exactly true. The fact is that "Grannies for Grass" was started in my living room by my wife, my mother and myself as we had a company we wanted to name and my Mom actually thought "Grannies for Grass" would be an awesome name. While we sold our hemp jewelry we could teach people about hemp and cannabis. 
Apr 1, 2013 5:31PM
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We're of the older generation and have been smoking pot since the early 60's.  Most people I know are 'closet smokers' and will only smoke around very close friends.  We're in our sixties and I'll be smoking till I die.  This whole reefer thing has always been about control.  Screw that.  Nobody can tell me what I can or can't grow.  Really!  It's the stupidest thing.
Apr 1, 2013 5:30PM
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I'm a member of MADD ( Mothers' Against Drunk Driving ) and totally believe that alcohol and pot both need to be addressed by this "rule of thumb".

I don't drink or smoke and drive, that's just stupid. It is a FACT that your reflexes are slower and reactions are delayed while having a BUZZ. So have a designated driver to keep everyone safe on the road....

All is well in moderation... so peace out.... and be safe

Apr 1, 2013 5:01PM
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I never understood why pot was illegal and alcohol wasn't. Alcohol is ten times more destructive. Alcohol kills and leads to all kinds of medical issues and dependence. Have a couple of martinis and your too wasted to function. Smoke a couple of joints and you giggle a lot. I see parents lecturing their children about the evils of pot all the while maintaining a fully stocked bar and a half a dozen bottles of prescription narcotic in the medicine cabinet.
Keeping marijuana criminal also means creating criminals and criminal behavior. Law makers have created this entire highly lucrative industry run by drug dealers that is unregulated and not taxed. Think of the millions in revenue that could be generated and the jobs created if it was legalized.
Put an age requirement on it to purchase like they do alcohol. Educated the masses to the dangers etc. But keeping it illegal hasn't stem the import of it.

Apr 1, 2013 4:53PM
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Ridiculous!  It's about time these old pot smokers grow up!!  If you cant face life straight and still feel the need to get high, I feel sorry for you.
Mar 30, 2013 5:40PM
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I'd hate to ruin it ... but there's 420 comments aside from my own.
Mar 29, 2013 5:08PM
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It helps with all those little aches and pains that go along with aging.  I've smoked for 50+ years and I don't feel or look too bad.  Growing old gracefully.
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