One fifth use marijuana now

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

One fifth use marijuana now

Most want it grown, sold through government agencies

TORONTO December 9th, 2015 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1369 Canadian adults 18 years of age and older, one fifth have used marijuana or cannabis in the past year (19%) and one quarter will use it in the future once it is legal (24%). Anticipated usage is highest among the youngest (41%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 29%), in BC (29%), among Green voters (42%). Groups especially likely to not use it include the oldest (8%) and Francophones (16%), as well as Conservative voters (11%).

Plurality wants it legalized immediately

While about one quarter of Canadians think marijuana should never be legalized (24%), the largest group of those who want it legalized think it should happen immediately (22%). Relatively equal proportions think legalization can happen in the next few months (15%) or in the next year (14%) but few will wait until the next election (5%). About one sixth think legalization must wait until them provinces have been consulted (16%). Among those who use it now, more than half want it legalized immediately (52%), and relatively equal proportions will settle for legalization in the next few months (18%) or in the next year (16%).

Most want corporate production, distribution model

The largest groups of Canadians in total believe marijuana should be grown by large companies and sold through government agencies where it can be restricted, regulated and taxed (40%). Just one sixth opt for an individual model where private consumers may grow the product and distribute it as they see fit (as long as they restrict it by age - 15%). A similar proportion wants to see a combined model, with corporate production and distribution coupled with an individual grower exemption. Just more than a quarter do not want to see any model used, and these are citizens opposed to the legalization of marijuana. Current marijuana users are relatively equally likely to favour the corporate model (31%), the individual model (33%) and the combination model (28%). Interestingly, one tenth of current users do not want to see any legalized distribution (9%).

Most want marijuana revenues to go to debt reduction

When presented with a list of areas where marijuana tax revenues could be spent, the most popular is deficit and debt reduction (21%), followed by drug addiction treatment programs (17%) and general revenues (14%). Other beneficiaries not as widely supported include a tax break (12%), infrastructure and transit (10%) and alcohol addiction treatment programs (3%).

 “It appears, while the solid citizens of Canada see the benefits of legalizing marijuana, and can already see where some of the taxes might go, they are cautious about opening up production and distribution too much. Current users of boo, however, are more agnostic about the ideal distribution system, and would like to see an individual grower exemption as well as the government sponsored retailing model,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.