British Columbians would legalize marijuana, but not other drugs


79% of those of South Asian descent endorse legalization of marijuana


WHILE a large proportion of British Columbians continues to voice support for the legalization of marijuana, very few are in favour of making other drugs readily available to the public, a new Insights West poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, seven-in-10 British Columbians (70%, +3 since an Insights West poll conducted in July 2015) support the legalization of marijuana, while one-in-four (25%) are opposed to it.
Support for the legalization of marijuana is highest among men (73%), British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (77%), residents of Vancouver Island (also 77%) and those who voted for the Liberal Party in the 2015 federal election (83%).
The legalization of cannabis is endorsed by 71% of British Columbians of European descent and 79% of those of South Asian descent, but drops markedly to 41% among residents of East Asian descent.
When asked whether six other drugs should be legalized, large majorities of British Columbians voice opposition. About four-in-five are against legalizing heroin (79%), ecstasy (80%) and powder cocaine (81%), and an even a higher proportion (85%) oppose making crack cocaine, methamphetamine or “crystal meth” and fentanyl legal.
Three-in-four British Columbians (76%) say they are “very familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with discussions related to marijuana legalization—consistent with the findings of a Canada-wide Insights West poll conducted in October 2016.
Across the province, 44% of residents think stand-alone facilities should be established for the sole purpose of selling marijuana and marijuana-related products. Smaller proportions of residents would prefer to sell marijuana in liquor stores (23%) or drugstores and pharmacies (22%).
Most British Columbians who use marijuana “a few times a week or more” would prefer to see cannabis sold legally in stand-alone facilities (60%)—a view shared by half of women (50%) and most residents aged 18-to-34 (53%).

When asked what should be the legal age for a person to acquire marijuana and marijuana-related products in the province, 43% of British Columbians select 19 years, while 23% choose 21 years.
“In spite of the high level of support for the legalization of marijuana, there are still many questions that British Columbians are pondering,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “There is no clear consensus on how to sell cannabis legally, or on the age a person should be in order to become a legal buyer.”