Discussing Cannabis at the Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Alyssa Jank

There are some topics you probably know to avoid at family gatherings: politics, cousin Katie’s tattoos, Uncle Mark’s new girlfriend, etc. But should you avoid talking about cannabis at this year’s Thanksgiving?  

According to a recent Gallup poll, 66% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, and cannabis use is probably more prevalent than you think. About 1 in 5 adults in the US are cannabis users according to our recent incidence data.

 

But Great Aunt Betty or Grandpa aren’t using cannabis—are they? Don’t be so sure! Our consumer insights show almost 18% of cannabis users are over 55 years old and only 12% of these users are new to the category; over 60% of this group use at least once per week. Maybe this shouldn’t be too surprising. As we know, cannabis can help with chronic pain, and Grandpa’s arthritis has only gotten worse as he’s gotten older. Plus, he lives in a state with legal medical cannabis (like the majority of Americans).  

 

About 1/3 of cannabis-using Baby Boomers are returning to the category after some time off; we call this group Boomerangs. Remember, Boomers and their elders came of age and/or were young adults during the 60s and 70s when cannabis experimentation was very trendy. However, during the 80s and early 90s, they were bombarded by the “war on drugs” while they were starting families, which likely caused them to cut back on or stop using cannabis. Now that they are older, starting to retire, and have more income, they are reentering the category.

 

And you probably think you can’t mention legalization or cannabis use to your conservative cousin Brenda, right?  While it is true that the biggest political identifier in cannabis users is Democrat, 22% of cannabis users identify as Republican, and this number goes up to 27% when looking at medical cardholders. Additionally, Republican cannabis users are almost as likely as the average cannabis user to be a Typical Stoner.

 

So, while you might think you need to steer the conversation away from cannabis around the turkey, your family could surprise you. But if you accidentally start a debate, you can always change the subject to football or the best side dishes.