Millennials Overwhelmingly Oppose Drug War and Support Legal Marijuana

The following first appeared in Cannabis Now

Millennials are generally considered to be persons entering adulthood in the new millennium or those born between 1980 and 2000. By 2020 they will all be old enough to vote and influence laws around the country, prompting some politicos to predict an overwhelming change in national political trends, including a drastic nationwide loosening of cannabis laws — medical, adult use and industrial hemp production.

According to a Reason-Rupe survey released earlier this month, the Millennial Generation overwhelmingly opposes what the survey calls the “nanny state,” specifically the criminalization of drugs and particularly marijuana.

In a study conducted by market research firm YouGov, 2,000 respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 were interviewed about their opinions on specific substances.

The study revealed that 57 percent of Millennials believe the government should allow the use of marijuana, while 22 percent said it should allow the use of cocaine. More notably however, Millennials overwhelmingly oppose penalties, fines and imprisonment for the use of drugs. Of the respondents, 83 percent believed there should be no repercussions for the use of marijuana, 68 percent said the same for the use of ecstasy, 63 percent for cocaine and 61 percent for heroin.

Millennials, however, are generally pessimistic about their economic future, with 55 percent saying they would like to start a business some day but 46 percent saying they believe that overall, they will be worse off than their parents generation (Baby Boomers/Generation Jones and Generation X).

“There’s a lot of noise in polls like this,” writes Kevin Drum of Mother Jones, referring to a 2013 poll evidencing the nation’s now majority-support for legal cannabis. “We might see a bit of regression to the mean in the next few years… So 2016 is hardly a sure thing. But 2020? That seems like a pretty safe bet in most of the country.”

States like Colorado are great examples of how cannabis can positively benefit a state’s economy, so it should come as no surprise that this generation embraces widespread marijuana-friendly laws. Legal cannabis presents a viable opportunity for Millennials in the 21st century economy.

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