When Justin Trudeau positioned himself and the Liberal Party as advocates for the legalization of marijuana, a lot of us had the "yeah, sure, I'll believe it when I see it" mentality, assuming the platform to be a way to curry favour with a minority of voters.
Now that Trudeau is Prime Minister, though, the amount of Canadians who support legalized marijuana is far more than previously thought, making the case for legal cannabis in Canada all the more likely.
Toronto-based market research firm Forum Research delved into the demographics of legalized marijuana supporters, polling 1, 256 adults in a recently released survey.
The results were striking: 59% of Canadians polled would approve of the Liberal government legalizing marijuana. That's a 7% increase from the last poll Forum Research enacted back in August, a mere three months ago.
What Canadians would like to see when marijuana is legalized (45% of respondents) is a Crown corporation or government agency that controls how cannabis is grown and sold. So basically an SAQ for marijuana.
Further breaking down their own data, Forum Research surmises that about 3-in-10 of voters, or 31%, would account for the Canadians who would actively take part in legal marijuana/smoke up. Best of all, more Canadians are more likely to use cannabis if it were to made legal. Got to love peer pressure.
So what changed to make Canadians so much more willing to legalize cannabis? Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, surmises that since Trudeau got elected, making "marijuana legalization... a likelihood rather than a vague promise," Canadians are looking at the issue in a new way, and considering the benefits rather than the negatives.
And the benefits, at least in an economic sense, really can't be ignored. Canada could create a market worth $5 billion if marijuana is legalized, as predicted by the Financial Post.
Then, of course, there is the obvious pros of being able to purchase marijuana from a regulated vendor, and never be fearful of being apprehended for carrying a small portion of cannabis.
When it comes to how legal marijuana could look in Canada and Montreal under the leadership of Justin Trudeau, check out our feature here.