Most Canadians say they’re OK with company drug tests

Published on November 3, 2023 by oz. staff

A respondent answers a survey on a tablet; a new poll found support for company drug testing Photo: Adobe stock/the oz.
A new Research Co. poll found strong support for company drug testing

Canadians are slightly less cool this year with employee drug tests than they were last year, says a new poll.

Still, a 58% majority thinks companies should “definitely” or “probably” be allowed to administer drug tests to any employee, according to a Research Co. poll. That’s down two points since a similar survey in 2022.

In other findings, support for legalization has held steady.

A recent poll by Research Co. found more than three-in-five Canadians continue to agree with the legalization of cannabis—unchanged from last year.

“Support for the legalization of marijuana is highest among Canadians aged 55 and over (66%),” says Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. “The proportions are lower among those aged 35-to-54 (56%) and those aged 18-to-34 (48%).”

A chart showing varying provincial support for legalization. Photo: the oz. graphic/Research Co. data

Support grows for expungements

Almost seven-in-10 Canadians (69%, +5) are in favour of the federal government providing expungement orders to people convicted of possession of cannabis for personal use with no intent to traffic, says Research Co. (In Canada, an expungement order compels police forces, federal departments or agencies to destroy or remove any judicial record of a conviction.)

The notion of pardons for people convicted of possession of cannabis for personal use with no intent to traffic is more popular in Ontario (72%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (71%), Alberta (70%), Quebec (68%), Atlantic Canada (65%) and British Columbia (also 65%).

Across the country, 64% of Canadians (-2) agree with marijuana being legal, while three-in-ten (31%, +1) disagree.

Other drugs still offside

Fewer than one-in-eight Canadians believe it is time to legalize other substances, such as ecstasy (12%, +2), powder cocaine (also 12%, +2), heroin (10%, =), crack cocaine (also 10%, +2), methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (9%, +1) or fentanyl (also 9%, +1).

More than half of Canadians (53%) claim to have never consumed marijuana in the country. A third (33%) say they tried cannabis before legalization, while 13% only used it after it became legal in October 2018.

Canadians who have consumed marijuana after legalization where asked where they bought their product. Almost half (48%) state that “all” of their cannabis was acquired at a licensed retailer. Fewer than one-in-five (17%, -3) say “none” of it came from a licensed retailer.

The online poll was conducted Oct. 11-13, among 1,000 adults in Canada.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find the data tables here.