6-in-10 approve of legal pot

| Filed under: Ontario, Social Issues

6-in-10 approve of legal pot

Almost a quarter will use it when legal

TORONTO April 28th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1157 Ontario voters, just shy of 6-in-10 approve of legalized marijuana (56%), while just more than a third disapprove (36%). Less than one tenth have no opinion (7%). Levels of support have remained stable since we last polled this in December, 2015 (approve - 56%). Approval is characteristic of the youngest (72%), males (60%) rather than females (53%), the least wealthy (often a proxy for youth - 63%) and the very wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 63%), in Eastern Ontario (65%), among Liberals (71%) and New Democrats (69%) but not among PCs (38%) and among the best educated (post grad - 63%).

Disapproval of legalization is common to the oldest (47%), the less wealthy (in this case, probably a proxy for age - $20K to $40K - 41%), in Southwestern Ontario (42%), among PCs (56%), mothers of children under 18 (43%) and the least educated (secondary school or less - 41%).

Close to one quarter will use pot when legal

Close to one quarter of Ontario voters will use marijuana in the next year if it becomes legal (23%) and this is especially characteristic of the youngest (32%), males (25%) more so than females (20%), the least wealthy (a proxy for youth - 30%), in Northern Ontario (30%), among New Democrats especially (29%), but not among PCs so much (16%). This level of intended usage has stayed stable since December (22%).

Dispensaries and pharmacies favoured for retail, not LCBO

One half of Ontario voters think the most appropriate place to sell legal marijuana is either at specialized marijuana dispensaries (52%) or at pharmacies or drug stores (51%), rather than at the LCBO (38%). Since December, interest in marijuana dispensaries and the LCBO as retail channels has declined (from 57% and 44%, respectively). Pharmacies were not tracked in December. Opposition to the LCBO as a retail channel is much higher (54%) than opposition to either of the other two (pharmacies - 40%, dispensaries - 34%).

Approval of individual grower exemption down

Four-in-ten Ontario voters say individuals should be allowed to grow their own marijuana (41%), whereas one half do not (50%). One tenth don’t have an opinion (9%). This is a change from December, when there was an even split in opinion (44% in favour, 45% opposed). The profile of those who support a grow your own exemption is similar to that of Ontarians who will use legal marijuana - younger, less wealthy and wealthy as well, in Eastern and Northern Ontario and New Democrats.

 These findings confirm not only the steadfastness of support for legal weed, but also  validate our polling, in that findings have not statistically varied in the four months between these two waves of tracking," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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