Gen Y Getting High (And Why It’s Not That Big a Deal)

Millennials are leading the charge on the legalization of marijuana. 65% of Millennials ages 18-29 favor the legalization of pot and 27% of those younger than 30 have used marijuana in the past year, triple the amount of any other generation. Boomers and Xers smoked weed as well, so how did this generation come to be at the forefront of changing the perception and dialogue around marijuana use?
 
The Gateway Myth: In contrast to cigarettes and hard drugs, which have been consistently villainized as Millennials have grown up, information on whether pot is actually bad for them has been unreliable at best. This generation was told that marijuana is the gateway drug, but increased transparency of government policies through the accessibility of information has convinced Millennials that “the D.A.R.E. program is a joke.” As they’ve gotten older, it’s become clear that not all pot users are on a slippery slope to rehab, and for some pot feels like a “healthy alternative” to alcohol and hard drugs. There is little evidence to prove otherwise. Despite sanctioned dispensaries in some states, marijuana remains in the category of heroin, ecstasy and LSD by Federal standards, influencing the lack of research surrounding the substance. But with cultural trends toward more lenient policies and an increase in the drug’s accessibility, the NIH has provided Drexel University a grant for a five-year study to examine “medical marijuana and its impact on drug use and physical and psychological health among young adults” aged 18-26 in the Los Angeles area. Previous studies have begun to uncover links between cannabis and the increased risk of stroke in young adults, as well as a drop in IQ points over time, but the evidence is still unclear as variations in weed are too hard to measure. Unless some…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: Q: “Why haven’t you had children yet?” A: “I’m gay. So having a child is a big decision.” –Male, 22, CA

Back to school shopping is moving slower than usual this year, but that’s not the only shift that retailers need to contend with. We outlined the top five categories for spending among high school and college students this season, and tech is in the number one slot for college students and a close second for high schoolers. Increasingly, getting the latest headphones or mobile tech is just more important to young consumers than getting the latest fashions. As one teen told the Times, “It’s definitely more exciting for a lot of teenagers to have a new phone that can do lots of cool stuff than clothing.” (NYTimes)

When Millennials are shopping, more and more prefer to pay with plastic, with debit cards as their main payment of choice. A recent survey by CreditCards.com found that debit cards are preferred 3-to-1 over credit cards among consumers 18-29-years-old—a finding that makes sense considering this group’s fear of debt and cautious financial outlook. Cash is gradually being ignored in favor of debit as well. Among the same group, 51% prefer plastic over cash for purchases under $5, compared with 82% of consumers over 65 who use cash for under $5 purchases. (CNBC)

Our social media status update made it clear that the big platforms are spinning out plenty of new stand alone apps to test new features and try to attract young consumers. Now Instagram has introduced yet another. Their new Hyperlapse is an app that speeds up and stabilizes video, creating beautiful, impressive looking shorts that can be shared to Facebook or Instagram. There is already a #hyperlapse tag that users are employing to share their creations. Time will tell if the app is useful and interesting enough to stand on its own. (Fast Company)

“Everybody is trying to hack Instagram.” That’s what Like2Buy’s cofounder says, and they’re finding ways to help retailers turn social media love into real sales. Target and Nordstrom are both using Like2Buy platforms that link photos posted directly to product pages to buy if they are interested. The hope is that the integration will provide a more seamless experience between browsing Instagram and shopping, and give young consumers the “speed and convenience” that they expect in all facets of brand interactions. (Brandchannel

In the wake of the crisis in Ferguson, two Georgia teens have turned to tech to try to make a difference, and invented an app to help prevent police brutality. Five-O is “like Yelp,” and allows users to create incident reports about their interactions with officers, giving them a grade. The app also includes a “Know Your Rights” function to that users can easily look up what rights they have when dealing with the law. The two sisters behind the app had “dabbled” in code before, and are planning on releasing more apps in the future. (NYMag)

Looking for a quick Millennial stat to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated Millennial news items, 2 billion peer-generated opinions from our mobile, social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics on Millennials drawn from our bi-weekly national survey of the generation. You search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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