Sales of recreational cannabis are set to begin in Canada in October. After Uruguay, Canada will become only the second country to legalize recreational cannabis nationwide, and the first G-7 country to go legal across the board.
Many Americans view the development in a positive light. According to a new poll from YouGov Omnibus, about two in five Americans (38 percent) believe legalized recreational cannabis sales in Canada will be good for the country’s future. Only 24 percent believe legalization will have a negative effect on the country, and 20 percent feel it will not impact Canada’s future at all.
In the western region of the U.S., where most states have legalized recreational or medicinal cannabis or both, an even higher number of respondents predicted legal cannabis would have a positive impact on Canada. The poll found 41 percent of Americans in western states expect legal cannabis to be good for their northern neighbors.
Republicans and Democrats who responded are split on the issue, with 50 percent of Democrats positive about Canada’s new law and 49 percent of Republicans expressing a negative reaction. Thirty six percent of independent voters expressed support for Canadian legalization.
The poll found optimism toward Canadian recreational cannabis sales increased, though only slightly, with income level. Among those making less than $40,000 per year, only 36 percent viewed Canadian recreational cannabis sales as positive. The number rose to 38 percent among those earning between $40,000 and $80,000 annually and 41 percent among those making more than $80,000.
Thirty U.S. states have legalized cannabis for medicinal use, and nine states have approved recreational cannabis use. Despite legalization spreading state-by-state across the country, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, classified as a Schedule I substance along with cocaine and heroin. Support for cannabis legalization has steadily increased over the years, with a recent Quinnipiac poll finding 63 percent of Americans in favor of de-scheduling marijuana.
The YouGov poll surveyed 10,123 American adults in June.