Under Legal Cannabis, Canadians Endorse Drug Tests and Pardons

More than three-in-five Canadians continue to agree with the legalization of marijuana. 

Vancouver, BC [October 27, 2023] – Almost three-in-five Canadians think companies should be able to administer drug tests to any employee now that marijuana is legal, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 58% of Canadians think these drug tests should “definitely” or “probably” be allowed, down two points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in October 2022.

Almost seven-in-ten Canadians (69%, +5) are in favour of the federal government providing expungement orders to people convicted of possession of cannabis for personal use with no intent to traffic.

In Canada, an expungement order compels police forces, federal departments or agencies to destroy or remove any judicial record of a conviction.

The notion of pardons for people convicted of possession of cannabis for personal use with no intent to traffic is more popular in Ontario (72%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (71%), Alberta (70%), Quebec (68%), Atlantic Canada (65%) and British Columbia (also 65%).

Across the country, 64% of Canadians (-2) agree with marijuana being legal, while three-in-ten (31%, +1) disagree.

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

Fewer than one-in-eight Canadians believe it is time to legalize other substances, such as ecstasy (12%, +2), powder cocaine (also 12%, +2), heroin (10%, =), crack cocaine (also 10%, +2), methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (9%, +1) or fentanyl (also 9%, +1).

More than half of Canadians (53%) claim to have never consumed marijuana in the country. A third (33%) say they tried cannabis before legalization, while 13% only used it after it became legal in October 2018.

Canadians who have consumed marijuana after legalization where asked where they bought their product. Almost half (48%) state that “all” of their cannabis was acquired at a licensed retailer. Fewer than one-in-five (17%, -3) say “none” of it came from a licensed retailer.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted on October 11 to October 13, 2023, 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.


[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca