Majority of the UK Support Cannabis Legalisation // Wednesday, 31st July 2019

by Scarlett Furlong



Following the release of the BBC Newsbeat documentary ‘Legalising Weed: Canada’s Story’, which covered Volteface’s cross-party trip to Canada, YouGov polled the public to ascertain their attitudes towards the legalisation of cannabis in the UK.

“Generally speaking, to what extent would you support or oppose the legalisation of cannabis in the UK?”

YouGov asked exactly the same question back in May 2018 but this time polled a larger sample size- 3482 adults compared to 1654 in May 2018. 

Since May 2018 10% more of the population now support the legalisation of cannabis in the UK, increasing from 43% to 53%. The percentage who oppose has also declined, from 41% to 32%. The percentage of the population who don’t know if they support or oppose has remained the same at 15%. YouGov’s poll shows that the majority of the UK now want to see cannabis legalised. 

Support for reform has increased significantly for both males and females. 58% of males now support legalisation, compared to 47% previously and nearly half (49%) of females are in support compared to 40% in May 2018. 

When analysing the data more closely, it shows that the majority favour cannabis legalisation in almost all age groups, regions, by voting intention and by socio-economic status.

The only age group among whom less than 50% support cannabis legalisation is 65+. However, it must be noted that more adults aged 65+ support compared to oppose, with 45% supporting compared to 44% opposing.

When exploring voting intention differences, Conservative voters have seen a significant increase from 31% supporting cannabis legalisation in May 2018 to 44% who support now. There are now more Conservative voters who support legalisation than oppose, with 44% supporting and 42% opposing. Liberal Democrat voters and Labour voters strongly support legalising cannabis, with support at 65% and 61% respectively. Nearly half (48%) of Leave voters now support the legalisation of cannabis, increasing from 34% in May 2018. Support amongst Remain voters is high at 60%, increasing from 51% in YouGov’s previous poll.

Whilst Londoners support the legalisation of cannabis more than any other region in the UK, there is still strong support for reform all over the country. The Midlands and Wales are the only regions that do not have a majority in support. The majority of the public in London (61%), the rest of the South (51%), North (57%) and Scotland (54%) support rolling out cannabis legalisation in the UK.

Lastly, when looking at differences in social grade, the majority of middle class (56%) and working class respondents (51%) support legalisation, with both seeing a 10% increase from the previous poll. YouGov have grouped these categories into ‘ABC1’ and ‘C2DE’ which equates to middle class and working class respectively.

Scarlett Furlong is a Volteface Policy Advisor. Tweets @scarlettfurlong

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