Two thirds support legalization/decriminalization for marijuana

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

Support highest in BC, among Liberals and NDP

TORONTO AUGUST 20th, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1798 Canadian voters, two thirds (66%) express their support for either complete legalization and taxation of marijuana (35%) or decriminalization for small amounts (31%). Small and equal proportions of voters want laws left as they are (16%) or stiffened (14%). Few don't have an opinion on this subject (4%).

Support for outright legalization is highest among males (40%), the least wealthy (less than $20K - 41%), among younger voters (35 to 44 - 38%) and Boomers (55 to 64 - 38%), in the prairies (40%) and BC (45%), among New Democrats (47%) but not Conservatives (24%), those with some college or who have graduated (40%), the non-religious (46%) but not among Evangelical Christians (10%).

Support for decriminalization, on the other hand, is common to females (34%), higher income groups ($60K to $80K - 38%), in Ontario and the prairies (35% each), the best educated (post grad - 41%) and mothers of children under 18 (39%).

The position that the law should be left as it is most common to the oldest (22%), in Alberta (21%), among Conservative voters (25%), among Protestant (22%) and Evangelical Christians (39%) as well as among non-Christians (24%).

Stiffer penalties is a position adopted especially by younger groups (35 to 44 - 20%), mid-income groups ($40K to $670K - 19%), in Alberta (32%), among Conservative voters (20%), Evangelical Christians (32%), non-mainstream Christians (20%), those with children (20%).

"Marijuana legalization is an issue which continues to excite Canadians and the Liberals have made it part of their platform, but there is actually more support among New Democrats for this step. In fact, it is only in Alberta, and among Conservative voters that opposition to legalization or decriminalization approaches majority levels. This is one of those Canadian policy issues that splits neatly along regional and ideological lines," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.