National drug use surveys show the baby boom generation using marijuana in record numbers. We test hypotheses based on social learning, rational choice, and strain theories to explain marijuana use among adults aged 50-64 with an intersectional lens to consider racial and gender group differences. Social learning perspectives, pointing to pro-marijuana attitudes and norms acquired through culture, and rational choice approaches, in which marijuana use is perceived as a low-risk activity, are both strongly supported. Strain generated by mental and physical health problems emerges as a relevant factor for marijuana use among specific racial and gender minority groups of older adults.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science