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: “Music plays a very important part in my life, especially since Beyoncé is my favorite artist. Her music helps me get through things.” –Male, 14, IL 

Millennials’ wanderlust is no secret, and Ypulse’s May monthly survey found that 72% of 13-32-year-olds are interested in travel. How they travel may be different from previous generations though. A study by Marriott Rewards Credit Card found that 84% of 18-34-year-olds would travel to participate in volunteer activities, compared to 68% of Xers and 51% of Boomers. Younger travelers are also more likely to seek out adventurous activities, and cultural hot spots. (Business Wire)

Short-form video has become more important than ever, and “YouTube alone” may not be enough to capture Millennial and teens’ attention. Short content like six-second Vine videos appeal to young consumers who are overwhelmed with content options, and want to easily share what they see. Brands that create “succinct, punchy, and memorable” clips can stand out—4% of the top 100 tracked Vine videos is already branded content. (Marketing Magazine)

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going “natural” to appeal to health-conscious young consumers. The chains have announced that they’ll be eliminating artificial colors and chemical ingredients from menus in the coming months, including dyes and high fructose corn syrup. The move continues the trend of big food brands incorporating fresher and less processed ingredients, and attempting to appeal to Millennials’ dining preferences. (Mashable)

It’s graduation season, which means that thousands of diploma-toting Millennials will be coming face to face with their student loan debt. Earnest is a startup that wants to help them deal with it, and navigate a system that “isn’t built right.” The site helps members to refinance and manage all of their loans to reduce their payments and create a payment schedule in just a few clicks. (Fast Company)

Minecraft has become wildly popular with young consumers, so it only makes sense that other brands would want a piece of their virtual building action. Lego may be building a Minecraft rival, called “Lego Worlds” where players can create and explore a digital universe made, we would assume, with Legos. Speculation is that more information about the project, which has only been spotted on current Lego instructions, could come out at next month’s E3 conference. (The Next Web)

Are Millennials and teens watching more streaming than cable? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-olds nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following their media consumption. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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