Majority approve of legalized, regulated, taxed cannabis

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

Majority approve of legalized, regulated, taxed cannabis

Most want it licensed and sold through government agencies

TORONTO November 8th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1256 Canadian voters, the majority, close to 6-in-10, approve of the Liberal government’s promise to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana (59%), and this is an increase over the proportion who said they agreed marijuana should be legal in mid-August of this year (August 20 - 53%).

The government’s policy promise is especially popular with the youngest (67%), the wealthiest (66%), in Atlantic Canada (75%) and BC (68%), among Liberals (70%) and New Democrats (65%) but not so much among Conservatives (28%).

Plurality want production and distribution tightly controlled

When asked how legal marijuana should be produced and sold, the largest group opts for a distribution system where large corporate growers only are licensed to grow marijuana and it is sold through government agencies like liquor boards (45%), followed by minorities who would allow private citizens to grow and sell it themselves (16%) and those who expect it to be grown under license and sold at retail, such as convenience stores (12%). One tenth think another system is appropriate (11%), and just fewer either do not support marijuana legalization at all 7%) or think none of these distribution and production systems is preferred (6%). Very few don’t have an opinion on this measure (3%).

One fifth have used cannabis in past year

Just fewer than one fifth have used marijuana or cannabis in the past year (18%) and this is most common to the youngest (34%), males (23%), the least wealthy (often a proxy for youth - 27%), in Atlantic Canada and BC (25% each), among Liberals (22%) but not so much among New Democrats (14%) and hardly at all among Conservatives (7%). and among Canadians from parts of Europe other than the British Isles (26%).

An additional one tenth will use marijuana if it is legal

If it is legalized in Canada, more than one tenth of those who do not use marijuana now are likely to use it (13%), and about one twentieth are “very likely”  to do so (4%).

In total, Canadian cannabis market is about 3-in-10 adults

If those who have used in the past year (18%) are combined with those who will use if marijuana is legalized (13%), it may be seen that the Canadian marijuana market comprises about 3-in-10 voters (31%).

“Now that marijuana legalization is a likelihood rather than a vague promise, Canadians are considering the issue more closely than in the past. They are just as much in favour of legalization as they were before the election, if not more, but they want to see it strictly licensed and controlled, not grown in basements and sold in corner stores. The size of the market, however, should be good news for the potential industry players waiting to open shop here,” 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.