Is AARP Jumping on the Cannabis Bandwagon?

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by Dan Larkin.

Is AARP jumping on the cannabis bandwagon? Judging from their recent publication of MEDICAL MARIJUANA: The Basics, I would say so.

What is AARP?

AARP used to be known as the American Association of Retired Persons. But, let’s face it. They had millions of members over the age of 50 who were nowhere near retiring. So, they changed their name to just plain “AARP”. They’re a United States-based interest group whose stated mission is “to empower people to choose how they live as they age”. They have more than 38 million members.

Their members are now called “boomers” and ‘seniors”. Many who have disposable income. They also have aches and pains that come with aging. It’s the perfect storm for creating a target market for the cannabis industry, right?

boomers and seniors

So, you’d think AARP would have jumped on the cannabis bandwagon some time ago. But, not so fast. Keep in mind that their members are also the folks who spent most of their lives hearing about the “evils of marijuana” and lived through the “Just say no.” era. So, the stigma is strong for their members.

Why is AARP jumping on the cannabis bandwagon?

Now adult-use cannabis has been signed into law in 11 states and medical cannabis is available in one form or another in 33 states and Washington DC.

And let’s not forget about CBD. It’s everywhere. (In spite of it being illegal yet in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho.) The 2018 US Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD legal federally.

So, with the explosive growth of interest in the cannabis plant and the wonderful products derived from it, it became essential that AARP jump on the cannabis bandwagon.

This latest special feature from them is not the first time they’ve published a story on cannabis but it is by far the most comprehensive and, dare I say balanced look at the topic. Now, does the feature feel a bit too cautious for regular cannabis consumers? Yes. I would have to say so. But, again, remember that their members are the most stigmatized. So they have to strike a balance in order to educate and inform.


Their efforts are to be applauded and frankly, adopted. They should be adopted by anyone talking to an older American who is against, or questions cannabis use. Keep up the good work AARP.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m pretty sure I’m an AARP member. I’m definitely sure I’m over 50 years old.

Read more CannabisIRL stories about cannabis and boomers & seniors here.

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