Gen Z shows more relaxed attitude toward driving & Cannabis use
Around 37% of Gen Z Coloradans say they can safely drive after smoking marijuana.
During the past 30 days, 1 in 5 Colorado drivers aged 18-24 have gotten behind the wheel within two hours of using a cannabis product, according to a report on driving behaviors by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The 2023 survey of 1,000 Colorado drivers also found that members of the Gen Z cohort use cannabis more than twice as often compared with the average driver.
In addition to using cannabis products more often, Gen Z drivers in Colorado are more confident in their abilities to drive stoned. CDOT found that 37% of Gen Z drivers believe they can safely operate a motor vehicle after smoking marijuana. Just 17% said they could safely operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol.
In comparison, 10% of older drivers felt they could drive safely while high on cannabis. Only 4% of older drivers thought they could safely get behind the wheel after drinking.
According to the transportation department, the study reveals that Gen Z — the first generation to grow up with legal recreational marijuana — has vastly different attitudes toward the plant than previous generations.
A 25-year-old female survey respondent reported that marijuana is more popular than alcohol among her peer group. She said she uses cannabis daily and drinks alcohol about once per week.
“Our audience has broadened as Coloradans from new demographics explore legal cannabis consumption,” Darrell Lingk, CDOT’s director of the Office of Transportation Safety & Risk Management, said in a release. “And cultural norms are constantly changing as well. We have data, but we also need to understand the human component to increase safe driving behaviors and decrease cannabis-involved crashes and fatalities on our roadways.”