Angus Reid Poll: Most Canadians, Americans Support Marijuana Legalization — Expect It To Be Legal Within Ten Years

A majority of adults in both Canada and the United States believe that cannabis ought to be legal, according to a two-country Angus Reid Public Opinion poll of 1,005 randomly selected Canadian adults and 1,002 randomly selected American adults.

In the online survey of representative national samples, a majority of Canadians (57 percent) and Americans (54 percent) support the legalization of marijuana. Sixty-six percent of those polled in both countries said that they anticipate that cannabis will be legalized within the next ten years.

Respondents strongly opposed the notion of legalizing any other illicit substances besides marijuana.

Respondents in the Northeastern region of the United States expressed the highest level of support for legalizing marijuana (61 percent), while those in the South voiced the least level of support (51 percent). Nationally, 65 percent those age 18 to 34 backed legalization; 49 percent of respondents age 35 and older did so.

In Canada, men (64 percent) were more likely than women (50 percent) to call for the legalization of cannabis. By contrast, Americans’ support for legalization was nearly equally among genders (55 percent male support versus 53 percent female support).

The Angus Reid results are similar to those of other national surveys — including those conducted by Gallup, Rasmussen, and YouGov — showing that more Americans now support legalizing the adult use of cannabis than support maintaining its prohibition.

[UPDATE! A separate nationwide poll released today by CBS News finds: “For the first time since CBS News began asking the question, as many Americans now think marijuana use should be legal as think it should not.

“Support for legalizing marijuana inched up slightly from 45 percent in September to 47 percent today. … Another 47 percent think it should remain prohibited. A year ago, a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, opposed legalizing marijuana use. … While 51 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents support legalizing marijuana, 66 percent of Republicans oppose it.”

It adds: “Eighty-three percent of Americans favor allowing doctors to prescribe small amounts of marijuana for patients suffering from serious illnesses, the poll shows – up from 77 percent a year ago and 62 percent back in 1997. A majority of Americans of all ages – as well as most Republicans, Democrats, and independents – favor allowing this.”]

53 thoughts

  1. America, “F” yeah!

    And yes, Canada IS America too… Everyone in North and South America are Americans (seriously people in Latin America get PISSED if you call yourself American, like they are not).

  2. And the reason we do not support legalizing any other “illicit” substance is because marijuana is not and never has an “illicit” substance. Some kind of mythological marijuana is a dangerous drug, but it doesn’t exist here in reality.

    And so, marijuana belongs in a different catagory where its non-illicit characteristics can be admired. Even legal gambling is moral failure and more illicit, while using marijuana is not.

  3. We should be allowed to feel good even if it means smoking a drug. We want to enjoy life. Not live by other people’s standards. If you want to go after a drug, go after Crystal Meth, it’s ACTUALLY dangerous. Why not instead of saying no to drugs, say no to evil and/or greed? There are good drugs and bad. Marijuana is good. PCP is bad. Food is more dangerous than Pot: Eat for 12 hours straight a day and you’ll be dead in a year. Smoke weed 12 hours straight a day and you’ll live till you die of natural causes at 96 (unless someone murders you).

    Look how many good uses Weed has. And there are so few if any bad effects like laziness… Well, food tastes better so you eat more. Oh yeah, you COULD get arrested!!! That’s the worst thing.

  4. I think those figures for support may well go up soon. Many of those not in agreement with legalisation may not be that pleased with prohibition either. Many people are confused about this issue (which is understandable after years of propaganda) and are just being cautious – the maniac zealots are a small, but noisy, minority. Once people see legalisation working out (or even just not failing) those figures will rise for sure.

  5. The paranoia seems to vanish when the sweet smell of freedom is in the air.
    Keep voting for liberty and say yes to freedom.
    Cannabis forever!

  6. Every single person I have ever talked to about legalization of marijuana, including those that have never even tried it, believe it should be made legal. There is no doubt there are a few people out there that want to keep it illegal since they currently profit from the way things are now but the hell with them! Those kinds of people are selfish and uncaring for their fellow man and should not be allowed to continue profiting from the misery of others.

  7. ten years I hope not. I,m to old to wait much longer. Maybe its time to move. God bless co. and wash and the u.s.a.

  8. WHEN are we going to get a 2012 gallup poll on this?? It was 50-Yes/46-No last time, and it’s probably closer to 54/42 by now!

    [Paul Armentano responds: Gallup typically published its data in October. They do not poll this question every year so there may, in fact, be no 2012 data. Though one would think they would revisit this issue following the Election Day outcomes and slew of competing polls.]

  9. Maybe we should spend several more hundred billion dollars demonizing the evil weed. Don’t worry about the deficit, we’ll just stick the debt to our kids as usual.

  10. There are over twenty prohibition-based, drug-related agencies in the federal govt.

    Drug policy is more harmful than drugs.

    Prohibition is the direct cause of organized crime.

    The harsher the penalties become, the worse the crime and related violence gets.

    Drug dealers like prohibition just as much, or more than the DEA, NIDA, and 20+ other agencies related to “drugs” yet do nothing more than say “kids don’t do it,” to be frank. That is as worthless as abstinence sex education. “Don’t do it, ok?” while hoping for the best.

    Law enforcement against prohibition, including ex-agents who reveal the corruption and pointlessness in personal accounts, likely don’t care about the “feelings” of people still in the DEA or in the other useless agencies.

    Why should unproductive people who tell lies to the public, and who don’t make any difference, just make things WORSE, be guaranteed jobs in a terrible economy?

    WHY NOT criticize the DEA people who *are the problem*? so they’ll might be learn to be compassionate and not characterize people who want freedom from chronic pain (without pharma side effects or painkiller stupor and addiction) as “druggies”? Painkillers are narcotics. Cannabis is not a narcotic but DEA people casually refer to the plant this way, proving they LACK ANY CREDENTIALS to justify the schedule1 status of a plant that is definitely MEDICINE and lacks potential for abuse–the kind that will kill a person. People abuse doughnuts but they’re not labeled schedule 1.

    Drug dealers are not even the problem. Lack of sane regulation is the problem. Actually, the DEA IS THE PROBLEM, along with the spineless elected officials who support them.

    For years, public service ads characterized drug dealers as filthy predators, the very worst people. But wait..THE DEA CREATE the “drug” dealers.

    And the stupid cat-and-mouse game goes on with no measurable success.

    Even drugs like heroin, meth, crack; the hard “deadly hard drugs” drugs, all combined don’t kill even 1% as many people as cigarettes do. Nor do they kill more people annually than prescribed pharma drugs which are ultimately experimental when “FDA approved” for sale. “FDA approved” does not mean “safe” by any means.

    It’s been a big stupid corruption of government authority, and a travesty of justice. They’ll have to look for honest work like other people. The updated resumes will list achievement like:

    “Successfully maintained a drug war that no one could call a success by any measure.”

    “Actively conducted no-knock searches”


  11. Timothy Leary’s Supreme Court win made the Marijuana Tax stamp act unenforceable

    Nixon appoints a commission of 15 members, 8 he chose to study cannabis, to set facts straight. The Shafer commission concluded cannabis is relatively safe, nearly non-toxic, a hugely important crop, and should NOT be illegal and should NOT carry any penalties for use or cultivation.

    They had also mentioned the earliest reports that cannabis has anticancer effects.

    Nixon then gave the finger to everyone and started the Drug War.

    The Controlled Substances Act and dishonest and non-scientific scheduling system.

    Nixon had AG John Mitchell put cannabis into the worst category of drugs, carrying the most severe, unjustified medieval punishments.

    On Oval office tapes, Nixon can be heard on the phone scheming with the person on the other end, to create the HMO system and all the money to be made.

    So now, hospitals, pharma, and insurance are in business together. The more sick people with chronic illness, the more they make.

    Nixon then started another war, the “War on Cancer,” even though the Shafer commission mentioned the possibility cannabis has an effect on cancer cells according to early studies.

    This was obviously Nixon’s smoke screen to seem concerned about cancer, while pushing cannabis into the “deadly” category, intimating no medical use, including cancer therapy.

    His drug war essentially suppressed federally funded research regarding cannabis and cancer for decades. It wouldn’t be silly to state that this was a cover-up scheme.

    More cancer patients, more money. Doctors say “you’re gonna die soon. Take these chemo drugs” which cost many thousands of dollars and likely end up killing patients faster than the cancer itself

    Studies now point to the undeniable effect cannabis has on cancer and also its prevention.

    Cannabis has a neuro-protective effect, helps prevent cancer, (THC) selectively kills cancer cells but not healthy cells–observable under microscope. What’s more, cannabis seems to prevent the change from benign tumors into malignancies and also to suppress the following stage of cancer, metastatic spread of cancer through the body.

    There is no link between cannabis and lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD. Cannabis smokers
    have lower incidence of lung cancer than people who do not smoke at all, EITHER cannabis or known-killer tobacco.

    This is not to say cannabis is a panacea cure for even endstage cancer, but understanding how cannabinoids exert these health benefits, could lead to other treatments and better understanding of cancer, or possibly for other illnesses.

    What If Cannabis Cured Cancer? (documentary film and book)

    Marijuana Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease [Paperback]

    The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological and Spiritual [Paperback]

  12. This poll only demonstrates how the majority of people are mainstream morons.

    IN FACT, both Canada and the USA are runaway fascist plutocracies, building fascist police states. The majority of people were against wars, and the banking bailouts, etc., and yet, those just kept on getting worse!

    The real systems are that elections are puppet shows, put on by a handful of large corporations, starring puppet politicians, that are not significantly different.

    The funding of all the political processes come from less than 1% of the population, while 99% pay for nothing. In the context of that real situation, the opinions of the majority are not relevant. All it takes is to continue to fool enough of the people enough of the time, while dividing and conquering the rest.

    In Canada, the criminalization of cannabis is now worse than it ever was before. The government doing that has less than 25% of the support of the public, but nevertheless, that government has total control. The next elections look like a repeat of the previous, with vote splitting amongst the majority ensuring that the dominant minority continue to have all the power.

    In the USA, we do not yet know the response of the Obama administration to the votes in Washington and Colorado, but the past indicates it probably will be BAD! Obama is clearly the most extreme hypocrite, and there are no clear signs that will ever get better, rather than even worse.

    The REALITY is there is a runaway fascist plutocracy building a bigger fascist police state, and the majority of people are political idiots, who barely understand that, and who have no effective ways to resist that.

    Marijuana might be “legalized” in the worst possible ways. However, the overall debt slavery, backed by wars based on deceits, systems are STILL headed towards debt insanity, and even more insane wars and martial law.

    “Legalizing” marijuana is going to be too little, too late, and too trivial to matter!

    Since the vast majority of people in North America are mainstream morons, that act like political idiots, the majority of the “leaders” of the legalize marijuana movements are similar kinds of people.

    Pot prohibition was merely the single simplest symbol, and the most extreme example, of the general pattern of social facts, that the whole society is controlled by huge legalized lies, backed by lots of legalized violence, regarding everything, and the monetary system more than anything else!

    While “legalizing” marijuana MIGHT be a nice illustration of the tide turning … I do not see that actually happening, despite public opinion polls having crossed the line to having more than 50% in support of that change, and therefore, the dominoes SHOULD be falling.

    The underlying social dynamics are still a RUNAWAY FASCIST PLUTOCRACY JUGGERNAUT, that is going to turn most people into road kill, because they do not understand that, and do not want to understand that!

    Pot prohibition fits into the fascist plutocracy. Any ideas about “legalizing marijuana” that do not understand and address that are superficial and silly.

    The vast majority of the mainstream society, including the mainstream movements to legalize marijuana, do NOT understand those problems, and do not WANT to understand those deeper problems.

    As long as that continues, overall things will automatically get worse, and the will of majority will continue being defeated by the best organized minorities, who are the best at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence, like they have throughout human history.

    It was BECAUSE hemp was the single best plant on the planet for people that the law asserted that “marijuana is almost as bad as murder.” The REAL PROBLEMS are almost infinitely bigger and worse than any shallow ideas about “legalization of marijuana” being some kind of solution to the real reasons why cannabis was criminalized in the first place!

  13. Nationwide RE-legalization of cannabis for adults over the age of 21
    cannot happen SOON ENOUGH!!! (needs to happen A.S.A.P.),
    especially for states whose present antiquated anti-cannabis policies
    steer their populace-seeking-relaxation towards THE much more dangerous alcohol.

  14. 83% of Americans favor medical marijuana. This should be a clear sign to the Feds that people want real change NOW, not 10 years from now. How many people have to continue suffering in pain and for how long? Cannabis is just another option for doctors to treat patients. We know that cannabis has medicinal value so get over it people. Hundreds if not thousands of health care providers say so.

    I personally believe that many prohibitionists are miserable people and expect everyone else to join them.

  15. i guess that some more investigation would also point out that way more non weed smoker agree to the legalization than non tobacco smoker tolerate cigarettes. its only a guess thou cuz i doubt that all of the 66% do actually smoke weed and most people i know that dont smoke cigs hate them actually lol

  16. i guess that some more investigations would also point out that way more non weed smoker agree to the legalization than non tobacco smoker tolerate cigarettes. its only a guess thou cuz i doubt that all of the 66% do actually smoke weed and most people i know that dont smoke cigs hate them actually or at least dont like being passive nicotin smokers lol

  17. I believe it’ll happen a lot sooner than ten years. Now that the horse is out of the barn, the light of day is shed on the truth of this issue; that pot is not only not bad for the individual and for society, but benefits in all the ways mentioned above.

    Big industries have alot invested in keeping weed illegal, but the truth always eventually bears itself out. There is no reason that pot should be illegal for adults. for any reason.

  18. Try legalize now. Or not even. How about pushing directly for the police to stop arresting people! Hello? Having police arrest people for marijuana is stupid, regardless of the “party” one belongs to. It is the new American Replacement for Racism. Why we’ve provided an evil template for minorities individuals to become crackers, helping to ruin our society by millions of false arrests and ‘the man’ just keeps counting his money.

    Prohibitionists are very happy people when they are turning your life into shit. It is the main reason they get up in the morning. It is literally free money, like making money off of sending jobs overseas, takes no skill and is perfect for lazy non-thinkers that cannot compete. “Since we’re lame, just legislate success for us. Take money out of other people’s lives and hand it to us.”

  19. It’ll happen before 10 years.

    The floodgates have opened.

    “It [the end of cannabis prohibition] cannot help but happen, because you can’t sustain a lie like that forever.”
    -Dr. Lester Grinspoon,MD, Harvard Prof. Emeritus in the film “The Union.”

    People are waking up a little to reality, like the CO and WA victories sent shockwaves outward. People who’ve been living in a trance state or on autopilot are possibly realizing

    they never questioned the misinformation

    given to them, spread by prohibitionist agencies.

    Probably because many were socialized into the DARE model indoctrination, where if you do drugs you’re bad you’ll definitely ruin your life, but if you don’t do drugs you’re good and mommy and daddy will love you. Kids usually are trusting of people in authority.

    It won’t take ten years because people are empowered now, know what is possible, despite federal tyranny from unnecessary agencies that are ineffective at best.

    People who were afraid to even talk about cannabis before have a reason to bring up the topic for discussion without fear of stigmatization as a “druggie”

    Prohibition agencies should be dissolved with accompanying apologies to the rest of humanity

    sanctions would be appropriate for human rights violations, Constitutional and civil rights violations.

    seized property should be returned

    possession-only prison inmates serving time in jail, prison, or for-profit prisons should be released and given restitution for opportunity cost of sitting unproductive in a cage, suffering for a non-crime

    Then an issuance of pardons across the board

  20. This is the most obvious excuse for an article using suggestive psychology to get the MAJORITY of Canadians and Americans who SUPPORT the Cannabis Herb to really believe that it could not happen within ONE YEAR???? It could and it certainly SHOULD. But WE THE PEOPLE are NOT Only NOT FREE but we are PUNISHED (sometimes harshly) for something the MAJORITY of people have agreed they WANT LEGAL. and they HAD to go and Name the House Bill 6606! REALLY??? They HAD to use THAT NUMBER?? Why not a TAD more Obvious? Why not just name it HB666? Unbelievable. We really are sheep aren’t we?

  21. It’s no wonder so many are in favor of legalization, as I am too. Arresting 800,000 per year will no doubt make a population that will at some time reach a point where nearly everyone knows someone effected by these terrible laws. When the people speak, change happens. I think were at that point now. When marijuana becomes legalized, you have to clean the records of the people effected by these ridiculous laws. Time for America time need great again.

  22. I was disappointed at the stats for the other drugs. It seems very obvious to me that we need to put all those drugs, except marijuana, behind the counter of a pharmacy, at a greatly reduced cost. This would prevent so much crime. I’m pleased the with results of marijuana though ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Cannabis Prohibition has been an absolute and total abuse of power Cannabis Prohibition itself is a crime against humanity And once it’s legal accross the board all Folks who were adversely affected by Prohibition should have a massive lawsuit against the government for reparations because Cannabis Prohibition was based on Fantasy, Mis-information, straight out bold faced lies, & every other form of deceitfulness

  24. I don’t see us getting the bill passed for some 50 yrs from now. It’s 2012 and we just became a wet town,, and some stores still refuse to sell liquor because the Church has told them not too!
    I am one of those people, with feelings, and I can think for myself also, who has Chronic Pain (all over my body) 24/7. I’ve had it for over ten years, and can’t imagine another 10 years with it! I’m already on Class I pain pills, but I have to take 8 advils along with it to get any relief! The Dr. says I’m already on the highest strenght they make in pain medication, and I take up to 15 different prescribed medications a day (some to help with the pain, some for other conditions I have). I’m 55 and feel like I live in an 80 yr. old body. And there is no cure for anything I have. If my Dr. could prescribe cannibis, I’d jump at it in a heartbeat! I wish I had the power to twitch my nose like Samantha (in Bewitch) and give all those that are denying the Bill 5 minutes (that’s all they could stand) of how I feel, & maybe they would have a change of heart, that is if they are not already getting paid under the table to keep the Bill from passing.

  25. At 47 my first experience with marijuana was 14. What a wonderful experience it was. Although SMOKING IT NOW CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED. Keeping a job is top priority. It’s been 7 years or longer without cannabis. My hope is some day soon cannabis will LEGAL and I will be able to sit in my home and enjoy a smoke with out loooosing my job or the cops knocking down my door. I really wouldn’t know how to act. WE ALL WANT IT LIGALIZED JUST DO IT!!!

  26. When cannabis becomes legal how will this effect how drug tests will be conducted and will the work place have the upper hand as to say if you do it you lose your job? Anyone have an answer to that one yet?

  27. Smoke Marijuana It’s Legal Everywhere. That’s what smile stands for. May every state in America smile one day. Stand up GA. and be the first state in the south to ligalize. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I hope it wont take ten more years. I have waited over forty allready. I write, I send what money I can, I sign all the petitions in need of signitures, and still there is no representation in our government. I have lost hope in this country to govern fairly. What must we do to chage such a erroneous law aginst it’s own people? So much good would come from legalizing, it’s hard to rape ones mind around prohibition. I’m so tired of this fight. I just wont it to end.

  29. Now all New jersey has to do is “step up” and legalize marijuana. regulate it, tax it, whatever ! Dont make it a crime to have small quantity…restrict it like alcohol and gambling. So whats the problem?


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