Support for Canadian Legalization Strong Five Years After Legalization

In many ways, Canada provides the best insight into what people can expect when a nation passes an adult-use cannabis legalization measure. Canada became just the second nation to ever pass a national legalization measure in 2018, with the only other nation having done so prior being Uruguay in 2013.

However, unlike Uruguay, Canada permits nationwide sales to anyone of legal age, regardless of resident status. Uruguay only permits legal adult-use sales to people of legal age who are residents of Uruguay. Additionally, Canada is the only G-7 nation to pass such a measure.

Beyond Uruguay and Canada, the only other two nations to pass national measures are Malta and Luxembourg, both of which have legalization models that are exponentially less robust than what is found in Canada. The two European nations also have a combined population that is only roughly a million people compared to Canada’s population of over 38 million people.

For over five years Canada has served as the international leader for national, legal adult-use cannabis commerce. Cannabis opponents often try to claim that there will be ‘buyer remorse’ after a national legalizes cannabis for adult use. So, with that in mind, what do Canadians think roughly half a decade after their lawmakers implemented national adult-use reform?

According to a recent poll conducted by Research Co., a strong majority of Canadians are still in favor of legalization.

“Across the country, 64% of Canadians (-2) agree with marijuana being legal, while three-in-ten (31%, +1) disagree,” Research Co. stated regarding the survey results.

“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,” Research Co. also stated.

The survey also found that only a small percentage of consumers reported refraining from making their purchases through legal outlets, which was a major goal of regulators in Canada.

“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,” Research Co. stated.

This is, of course, bad news for cannabis opponents, and great news for the rest of us who want to see cannabis policies based on logic, compassion, and fiscal responsibility. Cannabis prohibition is a failed public policy by every measure, and it would be wise for more countries to follow in Canada’s metaphorical footsteps.

This article first appeared on and is syndicated here with special permission.

  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.


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