British Columbians Would Legalize Marijuana, But Not Other Drugs

Two-in-five residents believe marijuana should be sold in stand-alone facilities, and not drugstores or liquor stores.

Vancouver, BC – While a large proportion of British Columbians continues to voice support for the legalization of marijuana, very few are in favour of making other drugs readily available to the public, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, seven-in-ten British Columbians (70%, +3 since an Insights West poll conducted in July 2015) support the legalization of marijuana, while one-in-four (25%) are opposed to it.

Support for the legalization of marijuana is highest among men (73%), British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (77%), residents of Vancouver Island (also 77%) and those who voted for the Liberal Party in the 2015 federal election (83%).

The legalization of cannabis is endorsed by 71% of British Columbians of European descent and 79% of those of South Asian descent, but drops markedly to 41% among residents of East Asian descent.

When asked whether six other drugs should be legalized, large majorities of British Columbians voice opposition. About four-in-five are against legalizing heroin (79%), ecstasy (80%) and powder cocaine (81%), and an even a higher proportion (85%) oppose making crack cocaine, methamphetamine or “crystal meth” and fentanyl legal.

Three-in-four British Columbians (76%) say they are “very familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with discussions related to marijuana legalization—consistent with the findings of a Canada-wide Insights West poll conducted in October 2016.

Across the province, 44% of residents think stand-alone facilities should be established for the sole purpose of selling marijuana and marijuana-related products. Smaller proportions of residents would prefer to sell marijuana in liquor stores (23%) or drugstores and pharmacies (22%).

Most British Columbians who use marijuana “a few times a week or more” would prefer to see cannabis sold legally in stand-alone facilities (60%)—a view shared by half of women (50%) and most residents aged 18-to-34 (53%).

When asked what should be the legal age for a person to acquire marijuana and marijuana-related products in the province, 43% of British Columbians select 19 years, while 23% choose 21 years.

“In spite of the high level of support for the legalization of marijuana, there are still many questions that British Columbians are pondering,” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “There is no clear consensus on how to sell cannabis legally, or on the age a person should be in order to become a legal buyer.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at yourinsights.ca.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from October 5 to October 9, 2017, among 809 adult residents of British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
President, Insights West
778-379-1140
stevemossop@insightswest.com