In a recent BMG poll for the Independent, 51% of the British public said they supported the legalisation of cannabis, so that it could be sold in a government regulated market, just as alcohol and tobacco are now.

Support was far from unanimous however, with 35% saying that they opposed the possibility of the drug’s legalisation.

A majority of respondents of almost all age groups were in favour of legalisation, with the only two exceptions being, perhaps surprisingly, 18 to 24-year olds (49% supporting it) and, possibly less surprisingly, 65 and overs (42% support).  However, whilst the youngest age band in the survey was slightly below a majority in favour of legalisation, they weren’t far from the average of 51% and only had a proportion of 30% who opposed the notion.

Those aged 65 and over were the only age group to have a greater proportion against the legalisation of cannabis than in favour, suggesting a more conservative attitude towards the liberalisation of illicit substances.

Support for the legalisation of cannabis was fairly consistent across the different parties, with Conservatives being the only group to have more opposing legalisation (48%) than supporting it (42%).

Across all respondents, support was slightly greater for the decriminalisation of cannabis, which would mean that the substance would still not be available for purchase on the market but wouldn’t incur prosecution for someone found to be in possession of it. In this case, support rose slightly to 52% on average and opposition fell slightly to 33%.

Results for the decriminalisation of cannabis show that even those aged 65 and over were more likely to be in favour (46%) than against (39%), implying there is net intergenerational support.

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.


0121 333 6006

Thomas Speed – BMG Summer Placement Student – BMG Research

Dr. Michael Turner – Research Director & Head of Polling – BMG Research

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