Most Canadians Remain Supportive of Marijuana Legalization

Fewer than one-in-five Canadians are in favour of legalizing other substances, such as cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

Vancouver, BC [April 20, 2021] – Most Canadians hold favourable views on the legalization of cannabis in the country, but a sizeable proportion of consumers is not acquiring the product at licensed retailers, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 64% of Canadians agree with marijuana being legal in Canada, while 28% disagree and 7% are undecided.

Men (68%), Canadians aged 18-to-34 (71%) and Atlantic Canadians (74%) are more likely to voice agreement with the legal status of cannabis in the country.

The level of support for making other substances readily available for consumers is significantly smaller. Only 16% of Canadians believe the time is right to legalize powder cocaine. Similar proportions feel the same way about heroin (15%), ecstasy (14%), fentanyl (also 14%), crack cocaine (13%) and methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (also 13%). 

Just over half of Canadians (51%) say they have not consumed marijuana in the country. Almost two-in-five (38%) say they tried cannabis before it became legal in October 2018, while 11% only used it after legalization.

Canadians who have consumed marijuana after legalization where asked where they bought their product. Just under two-in-five (38%) say they acquired “all” of their cannabis at a licensed retailer. 

Three-in-ten Canadian marijuana consumers (31%) say they bought “some” or “all” of their product at a licensed retailer, while 20% say “none” of it came from a licensed retailer.

“There are some significant generational differences in the behaviour of marijuana consumers in Canada,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Those aged 18-to-34 are more likely to say that all of their cannabis was bought at a licensed retailer, while the numbers drop significantly among those aged 55 and over.”

More than tree-in-five Canadians (61%) think companies should be able to administer “drug tests” to any employee now that marijuana is legal, even if they do not operate machinery (such as pilots, truck drivers or crane operators). 

Support for these “drug tests” is highest in Atlantic Canada (70%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (66%), Alberta (63%), British Columbia (61%), Quebec (60%) and Ontario (57%).

Results are based on an online study conducted on April 11 and April 12, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.