October 3, 2018 — With two weeks to go until recreational marijuana is legal, a slim majority (54%) of adult Canadians accepts the new policy. This acceptance is based on a third (35%) providing explicit approval and two-in-ten (19%) expressing ambivalence – effectively providing tacit approval. Four-in-ten (42%) disapprove, and 4% are unsure.

Majority acceptance exists despite the fact that 53% of Canadians have some concerns about legalization and relatively few (13%) report using cannabis in the past 12 months.

Notably, based on expressed intent, legalization appears likely to spur minimal increase in marijuana usage – especially regular usage – at least in the early stages. Less than two-in-ten (17%) say they are likely to buy marijuana through the new legal retail system, including just 5% of those who have never tried it. Among those expressing some likelihood of buying legally, just 12% expect to do so on a regular basis. However, post-legalization opportunities, experiences, and orthodoxy may impact public attitudes and behaviours over the course of time.

These are some of the findings included in the Wave 3 report of Pollara’s subscription-based syndicated study The Public Lens: Legalizing Marijuana – the definitive barometer of public opinion on one of Canada’s most prominent public policy topics. Since March 2017, subscribers to the study have received fresh, semi-annual insights into public and user engagement, perceptions, and attitudes about marijuana as well as their expectations, concerns, support levels, and preferences regarding legalization and various policy elements (ex. timelines, age limits, retail approaches, home growing regulations, pricing, taxation, pardons, edibles, oils, and infused beverages).

For additional research findings, see our short excerpt from the Wave 3 report.

The next wave of the study will be fielded 1-3 months after legalization, with a focus on post-legalization perceptions, experiences, usage patterns, and public/consumer demands on governments, producers, brands, and retail operations. Results will only be available to subscribers. If you are interested in subscribing, please contact us.

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