A new poll from Forum Research suggests Canadians are becoming more progressive on several social issues, including cannabis legalization.

The results showed 54 per cent of voters want to see cannabis legalized in this country, up from 37 per cent in 2013 in a study by the federal government that asked voters their stance on legalization.

Of the 1557 polled voters in the Forum Research study, cannabis legalization had the strongest support from the youngest (64 per cent), the least wealthy (under $20,000 – $60,000 per year) and the wealthy ($80,000 to $100,000 per year), in BC (63 per cent), among Liberals (63 per cent), New Democrats (61 per cent) and even one third of polled Conservatives (33 per cent) supported legalization.

“The changes in attitudes towards marijuana reflect a broader trend of liberalization on a number of social issues,” said Forum Research president Dr. Lorne Bozinoff. “Canada is evolving into a more progressive country, perhaps more along European lines.”

The study also showed a softening of views on other issues, including assisted suicide (67 per cent in favour), and prostitution legalization (49 per cent in favour). Two thirds of voters also favour the return of the retirement age from 67 to 65 years old (65 per cent).

The only social issue included that Canadians seem to be split on is the long gun registry, with 39 per cent who want the program back in operation and 44 per cent opposed.

When asked if they would support a political candidate that shared the majority opinion on all of the listed issues, 45 per cent of those surveyed said they would.

“Adopting these five positions would seem to make a candidate almost unelectably progressive in Canada but, as we can see, this is not the case,” said Bozinoff. “There is perhaps a higher level of tolerance for social innovation in this country than we are aware of.”

“Politically, I think this will further isolate the Conservatives from the mainstream.”

Results for the Forum Research poll, conducted Sept. 21 and 23, are considered accurate plus or minus 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.