In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll among 1473 Canadian voters, 53% favour cannabis legalization. One third disagree with legalization (34%) and one tenth don’t have an opinion (12%).

According to the poll, “enthusiasm for legalization is highest among the youngest (61%), males (59%), wealthier groups ($60K to $100K – 61%), in Atlantic Canada (63%) and BC (67%), but not in Quebec (46%), among Liberals (63%) and New Democrats (60%) but not among Conservatives (32%).”

When voters are asked specifically how the government should deal with cannabis, “close to 7-in-10 say either it should be legalized and taxed (35%) or decriminalized for small amounts (33%) for a total of more than two thirds (68%) who are in favour of relaxing regulations.”

Very few think the laws should be left as they are (9%) or that penalties should be increased (12%). Males are more likely to favour legalization (47%) than females (28%), and females are more likely to support decriminalization (males – 31%, females -36%). One fifth of Conservatives favour legalization (21%), while one third approve of decriminalization (35%). They are the most likely to think laws should stay as they are (26%).

“We’ve been tracking attitudes to marijuana legalization since the last election, and the sentiments haven’t shifted significantly. The majority want [cannabis] legalized, and if they can’t have that, then they want decriminalization. I’m sure the Prime Minister is consulting experts on this, but I’m not sure he’s listening to the same ones the voters are. Most see no harm in marijuana, other than the fact it is illegal,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

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