01/21/2014 02:02 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

VIDEO: Boomers Are Hopping On The Marijuana Bandwagon

We've come a long way since President Nixon declared drugs "public enemy number one" in the 1970s and now new statistics suggest the fight to legalize marijuana has a surprising ally.

An estimated 6.3 percent of adults between 50 and 59 say they've used marijuana recently, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. While that may not seem like a staggeringly high percentage, it is a considerable increase from just 2.7 percent use reported in 2002.

HuffPost Live's Caitlyn Becker sat down this week with marijuana advocates to discuss this upward trend among boomers.

Guest Madeline Martinez, who runs a medical marijuana cafe in Oregon, says the rise in marijuana use among boomers is thanks in large part to a much lesser stigma surrounding the drug. Martinez says medical marijuana usage has been critical in helping more seniors understand the drug isn't such a bad thing, and now older users from "Stiletto Stoners" to soccer moms are smoking up.

"We invented marijuana as it's known today," said medical marijuana advocate Robert Platshorn. "Seniors are an easy sell. They've just been waiting for somebody to open the door and invite them out and now they're out."

Platshorn says in key states like Florida and California, seniors are one of the most powerful voter groups -- so when it comes to legalization, their votes count.

Platshorn and Martinez are both supporters of NORML, a national organization which advocates for the legal use of marijuana by responsible adults. NORML also counts several high-profile post 50s including Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, and Bill Maher among its supporters.

Where do you stand on the great legalization debate? Share your views with us in comments below.



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