Five years after cannabis legalization, 64 percent of Canadians are in support of the move: survey

It’s been five years since the legalization of cannabis in Canada, and a new survey finds that most Canadians are supportive of the move, but few agree with legalizing other drugs.

In a new online survey conducted by Research Co, it was found that 64 percent of Canadians are in support of cannabis legalization, which has been in effect since Oct 17, 2018, after the federal government, the Cannabis Act.

“Support for the legalization of marijuana is highest among Canadians aged 55 and over (66%),” Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. said in a press release. “The proportions are lower among those aged 35-to-54 (56 %) and those aged 18-to-34 (48 %).”

Based on survey data, 58 percent percent of Canadians think employers should have the option to administer drug tests to any employee.

The survey also found that seven in ten Canadians are in support of the federal government pardoning those who had been previously convicted of having cannabis for personal use with no plan to sell it.

Ontarians were found to be most in support of pardons at 72 percent, followed closely by 71 percent of respondents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 70 % in Alberta, 68% in Quebec, and 65 % in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia.

At the same time, few Canadians are in support of the legalization of other substances.

For example, only 12% of Canadians believe ecstasy and powder cocaine should be legalized, 10 % think it’s time to legalize heroin, crack cocaine, and nine % think methamphetamine or “crystal meth,” or fentanyl should be made legal.

The survey also found that 53%of Canadians say they have never consumed marijuana in the country. But for those who have used it, 48 % state that all their cannabis products were purchased at a licensed retailer, and 17 % said they had never bought it from a licensed retailer.

The findings are derived from an internet-based survey carried out between October 11 and October 13, 2023, among a sample of 1,000 Canadian adults. The data has been adjusted using statistical techniques to align with age, gender, and regional distribution as per Canadian census statistics. The margin of error, which gauges the variance within the sample, is within a range of plus or minus 3.1 %.