Baby boomers taking up pot again may be surprised how much it’s changed

Julia Bayly, Special to The County
7 years ago

With both medical and recreational marijuana use now legal in Maine, today’s growers are combining green thumbs with advanced chemistry to produce varieties to treat everything from anxiety to pain. 

But things have changed a bit since the days when marijuana was an illicit drug sold on the black market — including the potency of today’s marijuana.

“Back when I was a teenager I’d smoke a little bit on and off,” the 67-year-old said. “I joined the Air Force in 1969 and did not smoke much after that for many years until I got my medical marijuana card six years ago.”

With no dispensary available at that time in his area, Davis said he contacted a friend-of-a-friend who was able to supply some medical grade marijuana, which turned out to be a bit different than the weed he remembered from his younger days.

It was, he said, far more potent but also not as quick acting as he remembered marijuana being.

“I came home, took a hit and nothing,” he said. “I took another big hit, nothing so I took a third hit and then it really set in.”

That was followed, Davis said, by a period of cold sweats and a mid-day three-hour nap.

“It was very potent,” he laughed. “But now I understand that [and] my partner and I enjoy smoking a bit every night.”

Davis said he uses the marijuana to help cope with chronic insomnia.

“I go to sleep every night as opposed to tossing and turning,” he said.

As Maine lawmakers continue to hammer out rules and regulations in the wake of last November’s vote to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, Rusnak said more people who once smoked it years ago are coming back and, like Davis, are a bit surprised at some of the differences.

“Even just 10 or 15 years ago you would call your weed guy to buy some and he’d probably have one or maybe two varieties to choose from,” Rusnak said. “Now I have six varieties I grow and sell and am constantly growing different ones [and] I would recommend people start off with baby steps if they have not smoked for a long time.”

The County is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Baby boomers taking up pot again may be surprised how much it’s changed,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Julia Bayly, please follow this link to the BDN online.