February 23rd, 2010, 9:23 AM
News & Releases

SAMHSA recently posted the results of a marijuana survey that reported that 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. Marijuana which is used for medicinal purposes in 14 states is still illegal for recreational use. Marijuana (THC) is also still part of the testing panel when it comes to pre-employment and on-the-job drug testing.

Medical professionals such as Dr. William Dale at the University of Chicago Medical Center see the dangers that marijuana smoking can have as he believes that "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."

On the other hand 67 year old Perry Parks, 67, of Rockingham, N.C., a retired Army pilot who suffers from degenerative disc disease and arthritis uses marijuana to alleviate pain. Mr. Parks said. "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."

As the marijuana argument continues, baby boomers who are not quite ready to retire and are hoping for a new career or even part time work need to understand that smoking marijuana could jeopardize their chances of being hired as more and more responsible companies are enhancing their drug testing protocols in an effort to reduce negligent hiring and overall liability.

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