Recent research reveals an increase in marijuana use among Americans who are 50 years of age and older. Over 47,000 adults submitted data that indicate that from 2006 to 2013 there was a 71 percent surge in the number of older individuals using the drug. A geriatrician who is also a health-services researcher at a university says there are a number of possible reasons that older people are using marijuana, including for medical purposes.

But this precipitous jump in use among older Americans has raised concern among researchers who express fear that combining marijuana with other substances, such as prescription drugs, could create the potential for adverse health outcomes. It is believed that further studies are needed to explore the possible health risks incurred by older individuals who use marijuana.

But there is another issue that older citizens of New Jersey must also consider: the state can impose some very serious penalties for marijuana possession. And the fact is, being arrested for possession at an older age can not only be a blow to your reputation, but it could also create other problems as well. For example, a conviction for possession of an amount of up to 50 grams could fetch a 6-month jail sentence or a $1,000 fine. And with greater amounts, the penalties increase dramatically.

If you are an older individual and have been arrested for possession of marijuana or any other illegal substance, you likely want the situation handled as discreetly as possible. An experienced New Jersey drug crimes attorney can act on your behalf to make sure that your rights are protected and can help you work toward your best possible outcome.

Source: Kentucky Forward, “Marijuana use among older adults increasing; effects of the drug on seniors uncertain,” Dec. 15, 2016