In December 2018, the think tank the Centre for Social Justice commissioned a national poll through YouGov which asked 1,646 respondents whether they had previously used cannabis. Depending on the respondents answer to this question they then asked those who hadn’t tried cannabis whether they would try cannabis if it was legalised, or if respondents had tried cannabis whether their use would change if it was legalised.

When writing the official response to the CSJ report, Volteface requested the raw data from YouGov as little information about the poll was provided in the report. Our response to the CSJ report highlighted the CSJ’s misleading use of statistics when making claims about the rise in use amongst young people if cannabis was legalised. However, other very important statistics also came out of the YouGov data.

Key stats:

  • Only 10% of respondents who had not previously tried cannabis said they would try it if it was legalised
  • 83% of respondents who had not previously tried cannabis said they would not try it if it was legalised
  • Only 14% of respondents who had tried cannabis previously stated that they would use it more frequently if it was legalised
  • 69% of young people (18 to 24 year olds) who had not tried cannabis before stated that they would not try it if it was legalised

These statistics should be used with caution as they are based on hypothetical intentions and what people say is not necessarily what they do, particularly when talking about future situations.

Please find the raw data tables from the YouGov survey here.

Scarlett Furlong is Policy Advisor at Volteface. Tweets @scarlettfurlong  

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