‘Irish Times’ poll: 81% back legalising medicinal cannabis

Massive majority in favour of move as Government set to consider issue in spring

Cannabis: Even in Connacht-Ulster, where support was weakest, three-quarters of voters were in favour of legalisationfor medicinal purposes. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cannabis: Even in Connacht-Ulster, where support was weakest, three-quarters of voters were in favour of legalisationfor medicinal purposes. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Voters favour legalising cannabis for medicinal use by a margin of almost seven to one, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll finds.

The massive majority in favour of the move comes after a Dáil motion on the issue last week and a commitment by the Government to examine the issue in the new year.

Though some Ministers remain nervous about the prospect of legalisation, the public does not appear to share their worries. Asked if they were in favour of or opposed to the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes, 81 per cent of respondents said they were in favour, with just 12 per cent expressing opposition. Seven per cent said they didn’t know.

Regional variation

Voters in Dublin were most likely to say they were in favour of legalisation, though even in Connacht-Ulster, where support was weakest, three-quarters of voters (75 per cent) were in favour.

Older voters were the least enthusiastic, but here again almost three-quarters (73 per cent) were in favour of the move.

The wealthiest AB voters were most in favour, but there was no big divergence in the views of the different socio-economic groups.

Fianna Fáil voters were the least supportive, but the move still has the support of 78 per cent of the party’s voters. Labour supporters were the most enthusiastic, with 90 per cent of those who identified themselves as Labour voters in favour of legalisation. Fine Gael voters favoured the measure by a margin of 83 per cent to 11 per cent, with six per cent saying they didn’t know.

The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday of this week among a representative sample of 1,200 voters aged 18 and over in face to face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.8 per cent.