Polls Find Slight Increase in Usage and Growing Acceptance – LPC
Despite fears that cannabis legalization would lead to a huge spike in cannabis consumption, new data suggests that didn’t happen. A poll of 2,000 Canadians found usage grew three per cent after the Cannabis Act passed in July 2018. Just 18 per cent of the population reported using cannabis last year.
“We’ve got a minor increase in (cannabis consumption),” said Craig Worden, president of the Toronto polling firm Pollara Strategic Insights. “We don’t have a strong expressed intent amongst those who haven’t used, to use.”
Further, those who were attracted to trying cannabis for the first time after legalization reported that they would likely become only casual users.
On the other hand, Worden said the poll suggests that legalization is helping eradicate the “dangerous underground exchange.” One in 10 users said they purchased from the black market only. Six in 10 said they bought only from the legal cannabis retail stores.
In other words, cannabis consumption rates and its effects have been essentially remained the same. “People have seen that the sky has not fallen and that these concerns have definitely dropped significantly,” he said. “It’s quite a difference (what) actually making it legal has had on people’s attitudes.”
More Acceptance of Cannabis Consumption Since Legalization – LPC
Acceptance of cannabis consumption has grown too, though it’s not clear if there is a direct relation. Overall, general acceptance was at 64 per cent or two-thirds of those Canadians polled. Approval of legalization grew to 43 per cent while disapproval fell to 34 per cent. The most dramatic increase was in Quebec, where approval went from about 25 per cent to 37 per cent. “Quite an increase,” Worden said.
However, although the poll hints there have been growing pains in the cannabis industry, that is more apparent in events such as Vancouver 420 this year. Both legal and illegal cannabis was available. Country-wide there have been legal cannabis retail challenges. Further, there still isn’t a definitive test for cannabis impairment.
All in all, the poll is a positive one though. It seems to indicate that legalization of cannabis consumption has been a positive step.
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