One in four Albertans plan to try recreational cannabis once it's available: Poll
That quarter of the population will be injecting some serious cash into the legal economy.
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The debate over legalization is mostly over, and the question that remains is: who'd like a toke?
According to the results of a ThinkHQ/Metro Poll, one in four Albertans plan on partaking in recreational cannabis once it's available, but age is probably the biggest factor in determining how likely you are to partake.
Marc Henry, President of ThinkHQ, said his numbers show that 19 per cent of Albertans used cannabis in the past year, but 24 per cent indicate they'll use it once it's legal.
"It's not like there's a groundswell of people dying to use marijuana," said Henry.
He said it's more about bringing the black market into the legalized market.
Nevertheless, that quarter of the population will be injecting some serious cash into the legal economy.
"We did some estimates based on these numbers that puts the legal market (in Alberta) between $400 and $800 million," said Henry.
ThinkHQ's numbers showed that not every stereotype about the typical cannabis user is true. For instance, one's annual income had almost no impact on how likely one would be to use cannabis.
Those making less than $50,000 a year were only slightly more likely than those making between $50,000 and 100,000 per year, or those making more than that.
Alison McMahon, founder and CEO of cannabisatwork.com, said the data backs up what she's seen, and helps dispel some of the negative myths around cannabis users.
"If you think about the stereotypes that have been perpetuated, it's been told that people who consume cannabis are perhaps less effective members of society and therefore you might think would be in a lower income category," she said.
"I think this helps dispel the myth that people can use cannabis across income categories, and it's not just something lower class people are doing."
Education, however, did make a difference. Poll numbers showed that only 16 per cent of those with a high school diploma or less were likely to use cannabis. Those with some post secondary were the most likely to use (31 per cent) followed by university graduates (24 per cent).
Age was by far the biggest factor, according to Henry. Of those polled, 41 per cent of the under 35 crowd said they would toke. Next came the 35-54 demographic, with 19 per cent interested. Only 13 per cent of those 55 and up said they would smoke up.
The Poll was conducted on a panel of 1,185 people on the Voice of Alberta Forum and the Angus Reid Forum. The study was weighted to reflect the age, gender and region of Alberta according to Stats Canada.
The online survey utilizes a representative but non-random sample, therefore margin of error is not applicable. However, a probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points at a 95 per cent confidence interval.
To join the Voice of Alberta Panel, visit voiceofalberta.com.