By Troy Media
A report released on Wednesday by Statistics Canada says cannabis use is less common among seniors than it is in other age groups but consumption has been accelerating at a much faster pace than it has among other age groups.
The report said seniors use is seven per cent compared with 10 per cent at ages 45 to 64, 25 per cent at ages 25 to 44, and 26 per cent at ages 15 to 24.
“For example, in 2012, less than one per cent of seniors (about 40,000) reported using, contrasting sharply with estimates from 2019 indicating that more than 400,000 seniors have used cannabis in the past three months.
“The increasing popularity of cannabis among older adults has also contributed to an increase in the average age of cannabis users, which has risen from 29.4 years in 2004 to 38.1 in 2019,” said the report.
“According to combined data collected during the second and third quarters of 2019, there are about 578,000 new cannabis users, that is, those who reported trying cannabis for the first time in the past three months. First-time use increases with age. While 10 per cent of cannabis consumers aged 25 to 44 were new users in the second and third quarters of 2019, this was the case for more than one-quarter (27 per cent) of cannabis consumers aged 65 and older.”
The federal agency said seniors were less likely to report daily or almost daily use compared with persons under the age of 65.
“Canadians were asked to provide their main reason for using cannabis, that is, for non-medical use, for medical use (with or without a medical document), or for both medical and non-medical use. Medical use was more common at older ages, while non-medical use predominated at younger ages. More than half (52 per cent) of seniors aged 65 and older reported using cannabis exclusively for medical reasons, while the remaining seniors were evenly split between non-medical only (24 per cent) and both medical and non-medical reasons (24 per cent). In contrast, nearly 60 per cent of youth aged 15 to 24 reported using cannabis exclusively for non-medical purposes and more than one-third (35 per cent) reported consuming for both medical and non-medical reasons. Exclusive medical use among the youngest age group was rare, making the estimate too unreliable to be published.”