The medical marijuana industry, while still young, is showing signs of maturity. Acceptance of its use for a wide variety of conditions is growing with medical professionals, patients and governments alike.
This burgeoning industry is leading many to wonder just how long it will be before Canada goes the way of Colorado and Washington State, and recreational use becomes decriminalized or legalized. How long before Canadians can enjoy their bud in the same way they enjoy their Beaujolais?
The federal Liberals think legalization is a good idea. The Tories don’t. Who’s right? What do Canadian’s think?
The truth of the matter is that the legalization of marijuana is a divisive issue, with a slim majority of 54% supporting legalization and 45% standing in opposition. And these views are remarkably consistent across the country, with similar levels of support in every province except for Quebec, where the numbers are reversed.
Our study of 2,000 Canadians confirmed what many likely suspect; Canada’s youth are more supportive of legalization (63% for those 18 to 29), as are urban dwellers and those who identify as Liberal supporters (66%). On the other side of the stereotype coin, those aged 60 or over are the least likely to support legalization (45%), as are those who identify as Tory supporters (44%).
Interestingly, support for legalization increases – albeit slightly – with household income, and while anti-legalization efforts are often focused on youth access as a reason to oppose legalization, that message appears to be misplaced, as those with children under the age of 18 are no less likely to support legalization than those without.
The legalization of marijuana will most certainly not be the ballot question this Fall. Nonetheless, given how support is split, there is a good chance it will be thrown into the mix of wedge issues that arise in the months to come.