Even though most territories across the world have outlawed cannabis for decades, the controversial plant has consistently been one of the most-used drugs on the planet. Now that support for drug reform is sweeping the globe, it is becoming clear that a growing number of people around the world are in favor of legalizing marijuana.
A new poll has found that just as in North America, a significant percentage of Europeans support cannabis legalization. The study comes as more and more European countries are considering lifting prohibition policies and allowing medical and even recreational marijuana.
Partly sponsored by Curaleaf International, the Hanway Associates poll surveyed Europeans in eight countries and posed the following question to them: Are you in favor of legalizing and regulating cannabis consumption for adults aged 18 years and older? Survey participants came from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
On average, 55% of the respondents were in favor of allowing recreational cannabis use, while 25% revealed that they oppose adult-use cannabis and 18% were not sure. Participants from the Netherlands were particularly supportive of cannabis reform, with a majority of them stating that they were in favor of legalizing the plant for recreational use.
Charlotte Bowyer, head of advisory at Hanway Associates and coauthor of the report, says the findings show that cannabis reform in Europe is now a question of when not if. On top of asking for their views on cannabis legalization, the poll also queried respondents on their thoughts on different types of regulatory models for cannabis sales. This includes the traditional cannabis retailers that are now popping up in America in legal states, home cultivation for personal use or social clubs that allow customers to purchase cannabis and consume it onsite.
The survey showed 48% of the respondents said that they were in favor of regulated retail cannabis stores, 35% preferred a noncommercial model that supported home cultivation, while 32% supported marijuana social clubs that would allow onsite consumption. Interestingly, the model that saw the most opposition across the board was home cultivation with 41% of the respondents opposing the model.
The authors of the report suggest that this may be due to a NIMBY, or “not in my backyard,” attitude where people don’t mind policies and laws that they perceive as unpleasant as long as they aren’t affecting where they live. In this case, the respondents, especially those in France and the UK, may not want to be exposed to other people’s marijuana use.
This poll showing that most people in Europe are in favor of ending the prohibition of marijuana gives internationally focused cannabis companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) plenty to think about as they plan their entries into those markets once regulatory reforms are enacted.
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