Here’s some good news when it comes to the “war on drugs.” According to several new surveys we read about on the news Website Slate.com, marijuana use among teens is down over the past 10 years. Now for the bad news: During that same time span, marijuana use among adults over the age of 50 has nearly tripled! In fact, one survey estimates there are as many older adults now using pot as there are teens experimenting with it for the first time! Pot use among older adults has become so widespread that some people now refer to these users as “puff daddies” or “pot mammas.”

Many of these older pot smokers classify themselves as “resumers.” That means they resumed smoking pot after a long hiatus – usually after raising a family, or following a divorce or retirement. One reason for this spike in older pot users is that 13 states currently allow legalized “medical marijuana.” The Slate article says a growing number of kids report being approached by their own parents, asking if they know someone who could help them buy pot. Whatever their reason for smoking it, medical experts say there are serious health implications to using marijuana - especially if you’re over the age of 50.

For example: A recent Harvard study found that getting high can increase your heart rate by about 40 beats per minute, and cause unusual blood pressure fluctuations. For older adults, those fluctuations can increase the risk for heart disease by almost 500%. Also, a new study published in the American Heart Journal found that marijuana users were “significantly more likely to die” from a heart-attack, compared to those who didn’t use illegal drugs! Research suggests that having a pot habit can lead to an increased risk for depression, not to mention lung and throat cancer! In other words: If you’re smoking pot at any age, you’re facing problems with the law, but if you’re smoking it in your 50s or older, you’re also facing serious problems with your health.