New Survey Reveals Over 80% of U.S. and Canadian Adults Support Some Marijuana Legalization

The survey found that a large majority of adult citizens in both countries are in favor of legalizing marijuana in some capacity.

Adding to the growing body of evidence indicating that social attitudes related to marijuana are shifting significantly toward acceptance, a new survey from BDS Analytics reveals that more than 80 percent of adults in both the United States and Canada support some form of cannabis legalization.

BDS Analytics, a market intelligence and consumer research firm in Colorado, set out to examine the potential size of the cannabis market in North America by surveying how citizens feel about marijuana in their report titled “Cannabis in North America: Public Attitudes and Actions Toward Cannabis in the U.S. and Canada.

Conducted between January and February 2018, the survey involved asking 11,646 U.S. adults 21 years and over, and 1,136 Canadians aged 18 years and over, about how they feel about cannabis, either for recreational or medical purposes, and legalization.

The research found that 83 percent of adults in the U.S. and 84 percent of adults in Canada favor some form of legalizing marijuana. Regardless of thoughts on legalization, the majority of those surveyed also agree that cannabis has therapeutic purposes.

Twenty-three percent of those in the U.S., and 21 percent of those in Canada said they had used medical marijuana within the past six months. An additional 38 percent of adults in the U.S. and 32 percent in Canada said they would be open to considering the consumption of marijuana sometime in the future.

Those who use cannabis for medical reasons were found to prefer methods of consumption other than smoking, such as cannabis edibles, ingestible oils, and topicals.

The survey found that the average age of those who use cannabis is around 40 years. Consumers are also more likely to be single, and if married are less likely to have children.

The survey also revealed that 39 percent of adults in the U.S., and 47 percent of Canadians are not open to using cannabis in the future, suggesting that the industry in both countries has room to grow.

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Cannabis Laws in the U.S. and Canada

The growing acceptance of cannabis in the U.S. and in Canada shown in the BDS Analytics report and recent others coincides with expanding legalization in both countries.

Canada, which has had legalized medical marijuana since 2001, is likely to add federally legalized recreational marijuana by the end of the summer. The country’s upcoming legal marijuana market is expected to be worth $4.5 billion by 2021.

In the U.S., marijuana remains illegal under federal law for any purpose. However, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have passed their own laws legalizing medical marijuana, and nine states plus Washington, D.C, have legalized recreational marijuana.

At the federal level in the U.S., legislation to decriminalize marijuana has been introduced. Additionally, voters in Michigan, Oklahoma, and likely Missouri will get to vote on marijuana initiatives this year.

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BDS Analytics also recently examined the demographics, attitudes, and habits of cannabis consumers in California.

You can keep up with the latest cannabis-related reports and studies, as well as industry developments, by regularly visiting our news page.