Majority (61%) of Canadians Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Use, But Only Half (49%) Support Ability to Grow Pot Plants at Home

If Government Allows Home-Grown Pot Plants, Majority (61%) Wants Minimum Age Restriction of 21 Years Old

Majority (61%) of Canadians Support Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Use, But Only Half (49%) Support Ability to Grow Pot Plants at Home

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  • Darrell Bricker CEO, Global
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Toronto, ON – As the government tables its much-anticipated legislation on the legalization of marijuana, a new Ipsos poll conducted for Global News has found that while a majority (61%) of Canadians support the governments plan to legalize the consumption of marijuana for recreational use, only half (49%) support the idea of people being able to grow marijuana plants in their own homes:

  • Six in ten (61%) ‘support’ (26% strongly/35% somewhat) the ‘legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Canada’, while four in ten (39%) ‘oppose’ (19% strongly/20% somewhat) it. Support rises to 65% among men, and 73% among Millennials. A majority in every region of the country supports it. Not surprisingly, past experience is correlated to support: 96% of current marijuana users support its legalization, while 67% of past users also support it. Among those who have never used marijuana, only 38% support its legalization.
  • Only half of Canadians (49%) ‘support’ (18% strongly/31% somewhat) the ‘ability to legally grow marijuana plants in one’s own home’, while the other half (51%) of Canadians ‘oppose’ (25% strongly/26% somewhat) the idea. Men (54%) are more supportive than women (45%), as are those aged 18-34 (62%) compared to Canadians aged 35-54 (49%) or 55+ (39%). A majority of those living in British Columbia (63%), Alberta (58%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (57%) and Atlantic Canada (54%) support it, while only a minority of those in Canada’s two most-populous provinces support it (47% in Ontario; 37% in Quebec). Once again, past experience is correlated to support: 88% of current users support the idea, while 53% of past users and only 26% of those who have never used marijuana support the ability to grow pot plants in one’s own home.

If legalized, Canadians believe some restrictions should be placed on marijuana, its consumption, and the ability to grow it in one’s own home. Regarding the consumption of marijuana, 49% believe the minimum age at which somebody should be able to consume marijuana is 21 years old, while fewer support a lower age threshold: 20 years old (5%), 19 years old (18%), 18 years old (23%), 17 years old (2%) or 16 years old (3%).

When it comes to the ability to grow marijuana, 61% believe the minimum age at which somebody should be able to grow plants in their own home is 21 years old, while fewer support a lower age threshold: 20 years old (5%), 19 years old (13%), 18 years old (18%), 17 years old (1%) or 16 years old (2%).

Most Canadians also believe that some restrictions should be placed on the number of marijuana plants the government should allow to be grown per household. While 6% insist that the limit should be zero – that under no circumstance should home-grown plants be allowed – 14% believe there should be no limit. The average answer is 4 plants per household. The following table shows the number of plants that Canadians believe should be allowed per household.

If the production and consumption of marijuana is legalized in Canada, many Canadians suggest that they will partake in the activity, more than currently admit to doing so now:

  • One in four (26%) Canadians is likely (12% strongly/15%) to consume marijuana for recreational purposes -- 15% say they currently use marijuana regularly (5%) or casually (10%). Likelihood to consume in the future is led by those in Alberta (39%), men (33%) and Millennials (44%).
  • Moreover, one in three (35%) say they’d be likely (14% strongly/20% somewhat) to use marijuana for medical purposes, compared to the 6% who say they already do. Future consideration is also led by Millennials (46%) and Albertans (47%).
  • Two in ten (19%) say they’re likely (7% very/12% somewhat) to grow marijuana plants in their home, led by Albertans (31%) and Millennials (28%).

One of the key details of the legalization of marijuana is the distribution of it, and Canadians have clear opinions on which channels they support, and which they don’t. Canadians are most supportive of the idea of marijuana being sold at licensed marijuana specialty stores (73% support; 34% strongly/39% somewhat), while a majority also supports (62% -- 20% strongly/42% somewhat) its sale at stores owned and managed by the government. But only a minority supports marijuana being sold by any outlet currently licensed to sell alcohol (49% -- 16% strongly/34% somewhat), by any retail store such as a convenience store (24% -- 6% strongly/17% somewhat), or by anybody who wants to sell it (17% -- 5% strongly/12% somewhat).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between April 10 and 11, 2017, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Darrell Bricker, PhD
CEO, Global
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324-2001

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

The author(s)

  • Darrell Bricker CEO, Global

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