Quebec’s public opinion on cannabis took a surprising swerve in a new poll by polling firm CROP, commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents workers at the province’s Crown cannabis agency SQDC stores.
Two years ago, a previous CROP poll commissioned by Radio Canada revealed Quebeckers’ opposition to legalization was extensive and deeply rooted.
But in less than a year since cannabis became a legal product, the change in public opinion is striking.
In this year’s CUPE-sponsored CROP poll, Quebec attitudes toward cannabis have nearly reversed.
In 2017, as 58% of those living in the rest of Canada backed legalization, only 40% of Quebeckers followed suit, and 54% opposed the move.
Today, 55% say they support legal cannabis while 45% do not.
72% said legalization has done little or nothing to disturb public order in the province.
Though 34% of Quebeckers believe legalization has had mainly a negative impact, 39% believe legalization hasn’t changed much, while 28% believe it’s made things better.
Elsewhere in the poll, 72% said legalization has done little or nothing to disturb public order in the province.
Since legalization, 25% of Quebeckers have changed their opinions about cannabis—8% have begun to feel more negatively toward it, while another 17% have become more positive.
Puzzlingly, though 65% of those polled supported making 21 the minimum age for cannabis, an even greater 68% said they believed such a change would have no impact on the cannabis consumption of those between 18 and 21, while only 17% believed it would dissuade younger users.
Importantly for CUPE, large numbers of Quebeckers signalled their satisfaction with the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC) and its retail stores.
Two years ago, 58% of respondents were opposed to having an SQDC in their neighbourhood. This year, a comfortable 72% of respondents said they were pleased with the SQDC model, while 66% opposed the sale of cannabis through other routes.
The numbers on infused edibles, beverages, and extracts have also changed. Two years ago, 65% of Quebeckers were opposed to the legalization of edibles and ingestibles, with only 26% of Quebeckers supporting what we’re now calling “Legalization 2.0” products.
A total 68% of respondents had never tried cannabis. Of those, half said they never would, but 18% said they were open to the possibility. In a group of those 18% together with the 32% who had previously used cannabis, 74% said they would try edibles, beverages, and other new legal forms of cannabis.
The items they hoped most to sample? Chocolate, baked goods like cookies, candies like jujubes, and THC/CBD beverages.
Unfortunately for Quebeckers, most of those things are likely to end up banned by the CAQ government’s harsh regulations outlawing sweetened edibles and beverages.