Majority approve of legal marijuana

| Filed under: Ontario, Social Issues

Majority approve of legal marijuana

One quarter will use if legal; want it sold at marijuana dispensaries

TORONTO December 21st, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1003 Ontario voters, close to 6-in-10 approve of legalized marijuana or cannabis (56%) and this is similar to national rates of approval noted recently (November 4, national sample - 59%). Just more than a third disapprove of the idea (36%) and one tenth have no opinion (8%). Approval is common to the youngest (69%), the wealthier ($80K to $100K - 64%), in Northern Ontario (59%), among Liberals (69%) and New Democrats (66%) and among college graduates (59%).

One-in-six use marijuana now

Just less than one fifth of Canadian adults use marijuana or cannabis now (17%), and this is especially true of the youngest (29%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 29%), in Northern Ontario (23%), among New Democrats (24%) and those with some college or university (25%).

Close to one quarter will use marijuana if it is legal

Almost one quarter of adult Canadians say they will use marijuana or cannabis when it is legal (22%), and, once again, the rate is highest among the youngest (39%), males (26%) rather than females (19%), in Northern Ontario (27%), among New Democrats (30%) and among those who didn’t finish college (32%).

Most want to see legal marijuana sold at specialized marijuana dispensaries

When asked the most appropriate place to sell legal marijuana the majority approve of selling it at specialized marijuana dispensaries (57%), while fewer than half approve the plan to sell it at the LCBO (44%). Far fewer see it being sold in convenience stores (15%) or by private individuals (17%). Among those who plan to use it once it is legal, the same pattern applies, except with more enthusiasm for all channels (dispensaries - 84%, LCBO - 65%, convenience stores - 40%, private individuals - 44%).

Split opinion on individual grower exemption

Ontarians are exactly split on whether individuals should be permitted to grow their own marijuana once it is legal (44%) or not (45%). One tenth have no opinion (10%). Interest in the individual grower exemption is, once again, highest among the youngest (52%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 49%), in Southwestern Ontario (51%), among New Democrats (49%) and those with partial college or university (51%)

Majority see marijuana smoking allowed in private only, “vaping” in public

When asked where users should be permitted to smoke legal marijuana, the strong majority agrees it should be in private only (57%), while 3-in-10 think it can be smoked wherever tobacco is permitted (31%). Very few believe it should be allowed anywhere, even where tobacco is not allowed (3%). Among potential users of legal marijuana, a smaller, but still significant group agrees marijuana should be smoked in private only (30%). Vaping, or smoking e-cigarettes, on the other hand, is seen to be appropriate in public where tobacco is allowed (45%), while one third think it too should only be done in private (35%). One tenth think vaping should be permitted everywhere, even where tobacco is not.

Split in opinion on cannabis edibles

Relatively equal proportions approve of selling marijuana or cannabis edibles like cookies or bars (46%) or disapprove of it (43%), while one tenth have no opinion (12%). Potential users overwhelmingly approve of the sale of edibles (92%).

Special marijuana dispensaries best place to sell edibles

Ontarians believe that marijuana or cannabis edibles are best sold at specialized marijuana dispensaries (48%), rather than the LCBO (17%) or, especially, at convenience stores (5%) or by private individuals (7%).

 Well, it’s official. Legal marijuana will be popular and widely used, and most would like to see it sold at marijuana dispensaries, which is happening already, rather than at the liquor store. And Ontarians appear to draw a distinction between edible marijuana and the stuff you smoke, and see edibles as slightly less deserving of legalization and distribution," 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.