Just to clarify, 'generation research' isn’t real: we made it up. The lines that divide the different generations is a lie marketers tell us to quantify and define our culture to sell us products. Generation research is based, largely, on arbitration but there a few distinct topics, such as marijuana, that differentiate millennials from the other generations before them.
Whether or not their perceived difference in opinion is the result of a self-prophesied lie is irrelevant. That’s a conversation for another time. The fact is, young people accept, support the legalization of, and use marijuana more than any generation before them.
Marijuana legalization is one of America's hottest topics right now, with California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine being the most recent states to legalize the drug recreationally. A handful more states also moved towards medical legalization in November.
Public opinion of the Schedule I drug is changing, and young people between the ages of 19 and 36 have seen the most change. A whopping 71% of Millennials now support the legalization of marijuana; more than twice as many as the same age group in 2006.
Millennials aren’t the only ones who have turned a new leaf on weed. All age groups have seen an increase in the amount of those that support legalization. Baby boomers, the iconic generation that introduced marijuana to the American public limelight in the first place, now has a 56% support of legalization. According to the latest Gallup poll, 60% of the country’s adults say they want marijuana legalization, and the way it looks right now, that number’s only going up.
Not only do younger people support the legalization to marijuana more now than ever before, but they’re are also using the drug more than ever before. In 2006, only 30% of college students reported the use of marijuana in the past 12 months. In 2016, that number went up to 36%. This increase in marijuana use has been coinciding with an overall decrease in narcotic drug use. Whether or not these two trends are indirectly related is unsure but it certainly is good news.
Even with the country’s massive turn-of-face on the acceptance of marijuana, we still see the remnants of our society’s stigma very much today. Most young marijuana users still shy away from talking on the record or posting on social media about their cannabis consumption. Drug screenings are still very much a problem for unemployed workers looking for jobs, even if they buy and consume marijuana completely legally. Weed’s taboo is especially apparent in the business and finance worlds where many companies are unwilling to enter into the marijuana industry or buy marijuana companies’ stocks even if the business is the fastest growing industry in the country.
It’s all changing though. The trend of weed’s acceptance is going up, and Millennials are largely, if not entirely, responsible. We can only expect that the following generation will be even more supportive of destroying the pointless stigma surrounding the plant. Now, all we have to do is wait for all the weed-friendly ad campaigns marketers will think of when we get there.
Now read about why marijuana gives you the munchies!