The status of support for cannabis regulation in Uruguay 4 years after reform: Evidence from public opinion surveys.
AbstractINTRODUCTION AND AIMS
The objective of this study was to measure the public support for marijuana legalisation in Uruguay, both overall and in its provisions, in nearly 4 years after its implementation.DESIGN AND METHODS
Three separate cross-national surveys were conducted in early 2014, late 2015 and mid-2017 with national representative samples of adults. The first study was carried out during the initial months of implementation of the law and used face-to-face interviews (N = 1490); the second survey was conducted using a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system (N = 703); and the third study (N = 1515), using face-to-face interviews, was completed just before the implementation of pharmacy sales.RESULTS
About 60.7% of respondents in 2014 were against marijuana legalisation; in 2017, 54.1% remained opposed to the marijuana law. In 2015, half of the people interviewed (49.9%) supported access to marijuana through self-cultivation, while 38.6% favoured the provision of cannabis clubs and 33.1% agreed with the pharmacy retail provision. Support for medical cannabis was high in 2015, with 74.5% favouring it.DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
This study shows a change in the public opinion toward legalisation of marijuana although most people still remain opposed to the law. However, the data do not provide indication of a significant change in its use. Results suggest that opposition to legalisation may be focused on the pharmacy retail provision.