Older Americans are Turning to Marijuana

Yesterday major news outlets across the nation reported upon a study revealing that more baby boomers are turning to marijuana for a variety of reasons. The study, published by Drug and Alcohol Dependence this month, is one of many recent posts talking about marijuana use amongst older Americans:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 7.10.53 AM.png

So, what gives? Well, according to the CNN article from the screen-capture above, “seniors are increasingly passing the pipe. About 9% of US adults between the ages of 50 and 64 have used marijuana at least once during the survey year, while 3% of those over 65 have done so, new research finds.

For middle-age adults, the percentage of cannabis users has doubled over nearly a decade, according to the study (previously mentioned above), published Thursday in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Older adults have seen a seven-fold increase in that period.”

However, according to the study’s author, Joseph Palamar, many of these people are not first-time users. And so, what’s bringing them back? “The baby boomer generation grew up during a period of significant cultural change, including a surge in popularity of marijuana in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Han in a press release. And now that they’re older and experiencing some of the natural pains of aging — they’re remembering old friends.

How do people feel about this new statistic?
Here are some sentiments from a presumably younger Twitter user and a self-proclaimed “old-timer:”
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Both attitudes are decently positive, although fairly steeped in humor — as tweets so often are. What might this mindset represent?
Whether you agree or not, maybe you’ve noticed times have been a-changin’ in terms of perspectives on marijuana.
In an article covering the same original study, The Inquisitir added that, “a softening stigma, even amongst the older and traditionally more conservative cohort, may signal a sea change in the public perception of the plant. Even President Donald Trump, as Forbes reports, may be in the early stages of signaling a federal decriminalization move that would see the issue pushed back to the states, many of which would likely legalize at the next available ballot initiative.”
However, no matter how many older Americans are becoming interested — medical marijuana is not yet legalized everywhere, and recreational marijuana is legal in even fewer states. Check out this graphic from Governing.com:
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image from Governing.com
No matter how appealing this idea may or may not be to anyone of any age — remember that Americans are still being punished as criminals for marijuana related convictions each and every day, and that marijuana is not truly “legal” until it comes without punishment for all.
Check out the ACLU’s Marijuana Arrests by the Numbers for more information.

What Are They “Killing” This Time? (Part Two)

Last week it was diamonds, and now the blood of yet another market is supposedly on the hands of Millennials.

Mashable culture writer Chloe Bryan recently said, “Millennials are many things, but above all, they are murderers. Indeed, if an alien landed on Earth and read a few headlines, they would likely believe millennials are nothing but ruthless life-ruiners, determined to crush every outdated workplace concept or fast food product standing in their way.”

And she’s right — everywhere you look, millennials are being accused of having a hand in the downfall of quite possibly everything.

Take a look at what a search on today, September 6th reveals:

Our utmost apologies, but we’re not here to discuss the apparent millennial mayonnaise crisis. (Which proved to be pretty false — what a relief!)

We’re here to talk about “starter homes” and the housing market as a whole. If you haven’t figured this out yet — millennials have been accused of killing at least one, if not both.

Lots of young people are staying at home longer — we knew that. Think: “my adult offspring won’t get out of my basement rhetoric.” But what does this mean?

Okay, we know how this sounds, as if millennials are running loose with heaps of disposable income buying up every mansion in sight , but it’s not all wrong. Essentially, millennials are just skipping what used to be a major first step as a first-time home buyer: the starter home. It’s the one you know is just a stepping stone, your first place. It’s the one you intend to move on from once funds improve. But now, people are shifting toward waiting to buy entirely until they can afford their dream home. Why?

Only yesterday, CNBC reported that folks are renting for longer, because more now than ever, renting isn’t such a bad option in most places.  However, this means that homes in the “affordable” starter price range just aren’t selling like they used to. Because these homes used to be a crucial first step, there are a lot of them. We can see the problem here.

A post from real estate search giant Trulia really breaks down these woes:

And so, do we blame millennials? They don’t seem to blame themselves.

In response to the Forbes article that appears in the beginning of this post, an assumedly young tweeter eludes to the fact that perhaps the blame is to cast upon older generations who built the market that young people now struggle in.

No matter what happened, it might be best to cease standing around pointing fingers at one another, and take this for what it is — a change. Just as changing millennial preferences and attitudes about diamonds forced the industry to revamp their marketing techniques, this situation prompts us to rethink housing. Earlier this year, suggestions began popping up to try renting out “starter homes” when they don’t sell if it’s financially possible for the homeowner. It’s not ideal, as everyone wants a big chunk of change to invest in their next home instead of a relatively small check from a tenant each month, but it could be better than nothing at all given the current circumstances.

Back to this whole “killing” thing — it’s pretty aggressive, and pinning it on one single generation is even more so. This blog is not here to definitively say who is to be “officially” blamed for anything, really, but rather to look at the attitudes and media coverage that got us here, and where we might be going.

For more posts about millennials and their relative association with certain economic downturns, check back for part three of “What Are They Killing This Time?”.





The Gang’s All Here: Inspirations, Influences and Looking Forward

Upon completing our ascent in to Blog World, The Generations Blog has completed the next task in becoming “real.” We’ve got friends! Well, they don’t exactly know we’re friends — but we’ve got a blogroll. Alongside every post you’ll see a growing list of blogs that  brought us here and inspired this one. They represent a wide range of authors, from Gen Z to Boomer bloggers, and have been selected as to represent a spectrum of political interests and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Without further adieu, here are just a few of our favorite comrades in coverage:

Gen Z Guru by David and Jonah Stillman, a father-son duo of motivational speakers who specialize in bridging generational gaps, is filled with information about marketing, advertising, parenting, communicating and working with people of all ages.

Generational Edge by Amy Lynch, another professional speaker, focuses more closely on business productivity and strategies in the multigenerational workplace .

Four Generations One Roof is a bit more personal than the first two and lends itself more toward a “lifestyle” blog that follows the journey of a New England family with, you guessed it — four generations under one roof. Jessica Bruno and her family were featured on ABC World News.

Check out all ten of our new helpers in the sidebar under “blogroll.”

Looking forward, The Generations Blog hopes to continue the “What Are Millennials “Killing” This Time? series about several of the main markets millennials have been accused of trashing. It is important to look at not only how these issues are covered online, but also whether or not the claims seem to be true.

Another topic to come will be a look in to how Gen Z children’s internet usage is talked about online — by parents, by teachers, by “experts,” and in the media, and what it might mean to be a digital native.

As per the influence of Generational Edge, we will examine how generational tensions in the workplace are portrayed on social media, and what some of the most common complaints seem to be for each age group.

Spoiler alert:

Moving beyond the negative, we will soon divert our focus to some wonderful achievements that are finding young and old alike in the news. Bustle provided a list of reasons to be proud to be a Millennial, which is a great place to start.

Finally, stay tuned for an ongoing future focus on generational political ties. Of course there are folks all along the political spectrum of all ages, but certain beliefs and ideologies are starting to become a part of the mass-identities held by entire groups of Americans.

images via Pew Research Center

These blogs we’re pulling ideas from and this news coverage we’re sourcing — we cannot know them to be perfect and undeniably true. Media is biased, and so are human beings. What matters to The Generations Blog is that we remain aware of what is being said and reported around us, because whether it’s a flawless version of the truth or not, people everywhere are absorbing it either way.



What Are They “Killing” This Time? (Part One)

Every generation is commonly associated with a certain set of stereotypes. However, no generation has been accused of “killing” more industries, trends and values than millennials.Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 10.14.27 PMA simple search will reveal page after page of lists of businesses and markets that are apparently suffering at the hands of present-day 22 to 37 year olds. This might leave you wondering whether millennials are truly slaying industries at a higher rate than their predecessors, or if they’re just the first group to be heavily reported upon in this nature.

Business Insider says Baby Boomers did their fair share of harm in a post titled:

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Nevertheless, Millennial’s are said to have the blood of diamond jewelry on their hands.

Where did notion this come from?

In 2016, a 1,109 carat diamond named Lesedi La Rona (yes, a diamond with a name) failed to meet the reserve at auction, let alone find a buyer. Soon thereafter, The Economist wrote about how this auction’s flop in selling the diamond, worth $92 million, marked a change in the tides of the entire diamond industry.

This post received substantial backlash, some of which attempted to completely debunk the notion of the diamond industry being in any kind of the trouble, even claiming it was either steady or on the rise. Draw your own inferences as why you think The Economist jumped to such a massive conclusion.

Enhancement3_L16059_fpb.jpgthe golf ball sized diamond “Lesedi La Rona” via sothebys.com

Why this matters:

Despite the many attempts to clear the air following this “news,” diamonds are still being added to lists of things millennials are killing several years later.

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This potential mistake has its consequences. Not only are millennials blamed of ruining another market, but also diamond retailers, unsurprisingly, have panicked. But, it wasn’t all bad. In an effort to appeal to younger customers, jewelry retailers are taking to platforms like Instagram to reach Millennial clientele.

In the article linked above, DigiDay interviewed chief marketing officer Deborah Marquardt of the The Diamond Producers Association, an alliance of the world’s biggest mining companies. She said, “love and commitment are just as relevant today, but we are putting a wider lens on diamond purchase drivers,” when asked about new moves to tie diamonds to pop culture in advertisements. Marquardt cited Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” music video as being a successful moment in solidifying the bond between diamonds and young people, noting how a screenshot from the video is one of the DPA’s biggest Instagram posts to date.

Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 3.43.54 PM.pngimage via @realisadiamond (The DPA’s Instagram)

Moreover, Millennials aren’t “killing” the diamond industry, but rather forcing it to catch up to speed with current marketing techniques, and the 2016 diamond industry panic was relatively unwarranted, but lead to positive advancements.

As for other industries that may be in distress due to Millennial spending habits — stay tuned.




Welcome to the (American) Generations Blog

The Generations Blog will cover all things Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z. If you’ve paid any attention, we notice that certain generations are often either credited or blamed for certain societal trends, losses, changes in values, economic successes and failures. Some of these claims are true, while others are false, and some are just a matter of either opinion or a product of one’s perspective dependent upon age group or socioeconomic background. These attitudes impact the way in which Americans from different generations perceive and treat one another, and ultimately create a lot of the tension that can be felt between older and younger people alike.

But first – who’s who?

Baby Boomers are the generation mostly born following World War II. Although there are no precise cutoff dates for any generation, we will treat this time period as falling between the 1940s and mid 1960s.

Generation X, commonly shortened to Gen X, follow the Baby Boomers and encompass those born between the mid-to-late 1960s up until the early 1980s.

Millennials, sometimes also called Generation Y, who were born right behind Generation X in the eary-to-mid 1980s until the mid-to-late 1990s or the early 2000s. In truth, this age bracket is still very much up for debate, depending on who you ask.

Generation Z, who are still gaining their nicknames, include those born from the mid-to-late 1990’s in to the current 2000s.

Here’s why this matters:

All generations are being socially “charged” with massive accountability for momentous turns in politics, the economy, and societal value systems, especially on social media. In the increasingly tense and divided political climate in which we live, these claims are being thrown with more and more bitterness and resentment between groups:

Each week we will dive in to specific issues and their consequences, but for now, let’s briefly examine some of the most common claims and complaints against American age groups.

Firstly, millennials have been blamed for “killing” a ton of markets and retail business. Link yourself to a few news stories below via their headlines:

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Here, Business Insider details a long and growing inventory of industries that are presently dying, supposedly at the hands of millennials. A short list includes home ownership, motorcycles, chain restaurants, department stores, diamonds, movie theaters and marriage – but more on that in a later multipart dissection of these individual “killings.” Nevertheless, one can see why the demise of multibillion dollar industries can feel economically terrifying and worth pointing a blaming finger over.

Additionally, millennials are continuously badgered for being overly “sensitive” and for preferring more “politically correct” language when speaking about a host of topics.


Likewise, Baby Boomers are often criticized for their attitudes towards younger people, and for their apparent misunderstanding of the current economic climate and their suspected role in its demise.

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Above, The Washington Post examines the main criticisms against Boomers in today’s economy, including that they “chewed up resources, ran up the debt and escaped responsibility.” Click the headline to view the full story.

Moreover, there is a lot of mudslinging going on out there – and we’re going to break it all down. From millennials being perceived as lazy, broke and overeducated to Boomers supposedly being the worst restaurant customers, all the way to the concern for how much time Generation Z spends online, the Generations Blog will tackle how these criticisms and generalizations play out in the news and on social media.

While you’re waiting for future posts, take this quiz from The Washington Post titled ‘Can You Match the Generalization to the Generation’ below.

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