A Cannavape survey in the UK asking public opinion on cannabis-derived medicine revealed an interesting and unexpected divide between the older and younger generations.
The survey’s 2000 respondents were asked about the legalization of cannabis-derived medicine which occurred on Nov. 1, 2018, which was when the UK made it available with a prescription.
The survey found:
34% of Generation Z disagreed with the medication’s legalization, compared to only 18% of those over 65 years old.
But why did almost twice as many Gen Zer’s as Baby Boomers disagree with the relaxed medical cannabis rules?
The Generation Gap
Before we look into the possible reasons, let’s have a quick refresher on the different generations.
Gen Z is the first post-millennial generation, and according to Forbes, it includes anybody born 1995 or later- think anybody 24 or younger.
Those over-65 would be born in 1954 or earlier, which makes them either Baby Boomers or Traditionals.
The generations in the middle are Generation X and the Millennials (also known as Gen Y).
Is Generation Z anti-cannabis?
No, not really. If you flip those numbers, both generations still largely supported the legislation, as 66% of millennials agreed along with 82% of those over-65.
But why is there such a difference between Gen Z and Boomers?
Here are a few possible reasons.
On one hand, it makes sense that the older generation would be most supportive of legalizing cannabis-derived medicine because they stand to benefit the most- that is, if rules around its prescription were loosened, as cannabis-derived medicine can only be prescribed in a very limited number of cases at the moment- severe epilepsy in children, extreme nausea from cancer treatment, and muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis.
As the potential of medical cannabis continues to make waves with Baby Boomers, politicians will become much more likely to support it, not only because many of them are Baby Boomers, but because their generation is huge and so many of them vote.
But we should keep in mind that Boomers coming around to cannabis could have a huge impact on the kinds of cannabis products we see on the shelves, and those Boomers not interested in the psychoactive effects of THC could make the medical market focus on high CBD concentrations with the THC all but eliminated.
On the other hand, studies have suggested that Gen Z is more conservative than previous generations and is not drinking, smoking, or doing drugs as much as their elders did when they were that age, which could also be reflected in their views of medical cannabis.
Ben Walker of Canavape said, ‘CBD oil and other cannabis-derived medication has proved to be useful in relieving the symptoms and pain caused by a range of illnesses, way beyond what the Department of Health has authorised its use for.”
Overall, a sizeable majority of the UK supported cannabis-derived medicine at 77%, and this relaxation of the UK’s cannabis laws comes after high profile cases like the two young boys (aged 7 and 13) who were unable to get the cannabis oil they needed for their severe epilepsy.