Most Americans and Canadians Are Ready to Legalize Marijuana

A majority of people in the United States and Canada believe cannabis should be readily available for those who want to use it, a new two-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, a majority of Canadians (57%) and Americans (54%) support the legalization of marijuana.

Most respondents in each Canadian region back the legalization of cannabis, including 64 per cent of Atlantic Canadians and 60 per cent of British Columbians.

In the United States, respondents in the Northeast (61%) have the highest level of support for legalizing marijuana, while those in the South hold the lowest (51%).

In Canada, men (64%) are more likely than women (50%) to call for the legalization of cannabis, while there is no wide gender gap in the United States (55% male, 53% female).

The bulk of support for legal marijuana comes from respondents aged 18-to-34 in the United States (65%) and those aged 35-to-54 in Canada (61%).

The level of support for legalizing other drugs—such as crack cocaine, powder cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and crystal meth—stands at 11 per cent or lower in each country. Still, two thirds of Canadians (68%) and Americans (66%) describe the “war on drugs” as a failure.

Half of respondents (50% in Canada, 49% in the United States) believe cannabis should be legal in their countries, regardless of what other nations do about it. In addition, two thirds of Americans and Canadians (66%) expect marijuana to be legal in their respective country in the next 10 years.

While two thirds of Americans (65%) say the United States has a serious drug abuse problem, fewer Canadians (43%) feel the same way about their country.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From November 19 to November 20, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, and 1,002 randomly selected American adults who are Springboard America panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1% for both countries. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada and the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


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