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: “Whether I want to draw, paint, read, study, or dance, influences the kind of music I listen to.”—Female, 25, GA

Brands  are increasingly using emojis within their messaging—and for good reason. A new survey from mobile app engagement provider Appboy found that 39% of U.K. and U.S. mobile phone users 14 and up view brands that use emojis as fun, and 13% found them more relatable. Only 12% of respondents refer to emojis as childish, and 11% as inappropriate, and younger mobile users were even more likely to see emoji use as a positive than older users. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the number of messages brands sent that contained emojis increased by 461%. (eMarketer)

Musical.ly has attracted 70 million users of mostly teen, tweens, and kids within two years—so what makes the app that allows users to record 15-second music videos so successful? For starters, it’s a gateway to social media. Young “musers” who aren’t old enough for Facebook and Instagram are getting the opportunity to showcase their talents, and accumulate likes and followers within a platform that encourages viewers to “say something nice” in comments. (Kidscreen

Food Network is giving YouTube sensation Hannah Hart a show to cook up more young viewers. Hart’s YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, gives a comic take on cooking, and earned her 2.5 million subscribers with whom she has “tremendous rapport and engagement.” On her Food Network show, she’ll be travelling the U.S. learning about the local foods, and dining out on a budget “determined by the city’s average dining price.” The series will also include digital content of behind-the-scenes footage and vlogs. Millennials have shown “they love digital content and they love food,” and have helped “the food vertical [reach] explosive heights online.” (StreamDaily

Giant food manufacturer Mondelēz International recently teamed up with Fox Networks Group to strategize ads that will be more appealing to the ad-skipping generation. According to the brand, “We don’t deserve consumers’ attention. We have to earn it,” so they plan to decrease “consumer time with commercials, and [increase] the impact.” As young consumers have become “less tolerant of traditional ads,” brands have begun experimenting with digital marketing that lets viewers choose what ads to watch, and Fox is working to serve up ads that are more customized to individuals watching based on what brands they already know about. (Variety

The new generation of employees are seeking out side hustles. A report from FlexJobs revealed that one third of Millennials would like to have part time work along with freelancing on the side. The number one reason: necessity. According to Student Loan Hero, a 2016 graduate has an average of $37,172 in student debt, so it’s not surprising that Millennials are looking for additional income outside of their 9-to-5 jobs. Need for income has also limited them in terms of pursuing their true passions and finding their purpose, which can be fulfilled by an outside role or project. (ForbesCNBC)  

Quote of the Day: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

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