Canadians More Worried About Trump Than Legal Marijuana

By Paul Gaita 08/29/18

A new survey explored Canadians' feelings on topics ranging from Trump and national health care to housing, climate change, and cannabis legalization.

Donald Trump

When it comes to the issues that worry Canadians, the impending legalization of marijuana is keeping fewer citizens awake at night than Donald Trump.

That's among the findings from a new poll from Abacus Data, which surveyed 1,500 Canadians about their political choices and concerns as they approach the 2019 federal election.

Nearly half of participants said that they were "extremely concerned" about the U.S. president, while just 18% gave the same response about cannabis legalization. 

Abacus Data conducted the survey online with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and over from August 15 to 20, 2018. In regard to the federal election, respondents echoed statistics recorded earlier this year, with Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party netting 37% of the potential vote and Conservatives earning 33% of the vote.

Trudeau was viewed in a positive light by 43% of participants, and 41% believed that the country was moving in what they viewed as the right direction.

In regard to political issues concerning Canadians, Abacus Data listed nine topics, ranging from Trump and national health care to housing, climate change, border crossings and cannabis legalization.

Responses were somewhat varied according to demographic and political affiliation: voters under the age of 45 listed climate change and housing affordability among their top concerns, while those over 45 ranked health care and affordable housing as second and third of their most pressing issues.

Climate change and health care also saw high numbers from liberal voters, while conservatives leaned towards border crossing and debt among their top three concerns.

However, there were two factors which received a near-unanimous response across age and party lines: Donald Trump was listed as the top concern for voters both under and over 45, as well as with liberals and supporters of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Trump also topped lists for voters in major cities and smaller communities, and among respondents from specific territories like Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Only conservative voters listed Trump at a lower position on their lists, where he placed 5th, while border crossing was given as their most pressing concern.

Demographics were also largely in agreement in regard to cannabis legalization, which was listed last among the nine issues for voters under and over 45 years of age, liberals and NDP voters, big city residents and those in smaller communities.

Again, conservatives placed cannabis higher than other groups, but even in that demographic, it was ranked relatively low at 6th out of nine, below health care, housing and even Trump.

As High Times noted, the response to cannabis legalization echoed similar results from polls in 2017 that found that 68% of adults favored legalization, and in 2018, where 42% of adults voted in the positive for legalization.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.