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Study finds more older Americans are turning to marijuana

According to a new study, the percentage of older adults who use cannabis has seen a seven-fold increase over a decade. (FILE)

More baby boomers are turning to marijuana, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

More than 17,000 adults, ages 50 and older, participated in the survey.

The data shows about nine percent of adults between 50 and 64 have used marijuana at least once in the previous year, which is up from years past. Some seniors are using the drug for recreation, while others are trying it in the hopes of easing medical ailments.

Some advocates think the study shows there's a need for more research on drug use in older adults.

"Congress needs to act and pass a law that legalizes it federally, so we can study it more," said Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, an Oklahoma City attorney and a member of the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association. "It's very difficult to do the research and development on the medicinal value of cannabis, with it still remaining illegal federally. "

Oklahoma legalized medical marijuana this year. So far, more than 3,000 patients across the state have applied for medical marijuana licenses.

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