No Criminal Record For Pot Say Majority Of Canadians, Americans

Washington, DC: Nearly six out of ten American and Canadians support liberalizing penalties for the personal use of marijuana, according to an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted for the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

One thousand Americans and 1,000 Canadians responded to the poll. Among Canadians, 59 percent of respondents disagreed with the statement, “The conviction of possession of marijuana should always result in a criminal record.” Fifty-seven percent of Americans disagreed with the statement.

A previous poll of US attitudes toward marijuana laws performed by Time Magazine and CNN found that an even greater number of Americans disagree with the notion that an adult should serve jail time for the personal use of cannabis. That poll noted that 72 percent of Americans support fines, but no jail time, for adults who use cannabis recreationally.

“There is a consensus among the North American public that the government’s war on marijuana is misguided, ineffective and unnecessarily punitive,” said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. “The public recognizes that adults who smoke marijuana responsibly are not criminals and they do not want to spend our nation’s limited police resources arresting and jailing them and saddling them with a criminal record.”

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. A synopsis of previous nationwide and state polling data is available on NORML’s website at: