65% of Canadians would take cannabis if covered by insurance

Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Canadians would take a drug containing cannabis if it were prescribed by a doctor, approved by Health Canada and covered by insurance, according to a new Ipsos poll.

Among the 65 per cent, 36 per cent said they’re very willing and 29 per cent said they’re somewhat willing to do so. Men (69 per cent), those aged 18 to 34 (72 per cent) and Ontario residents (71 per cent) were the most likely cohorts to say they’d take drugs containing cannabis.

Even if these drugs weren’t covered by public or private insurance and patients had to pay out of pocket, 38 per cent of survey respondents said they’d be willing to take the drugs, with men (44 per cent), those aged 18 to 34 (51 per cent) and residents of British Columbia (50 per cent) the most likely to say so.

Read: WSIB policy on medical cannabis takes effect

A majority (82 per cent) of Canadians agreed cannabis can reduce pain and other symptoms, while 68 per cent) said they’re willing to take cannabis to help manage chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety or depression.

As far as expanding patient access to cannabis medicines through the regulatory pathway, 17 per cent said they’re closely following the Health Canada’s approving clinical trials for cannabis-based medicines, while 41 per cent said they’ve heard of this development but aren’t following it.

About three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents said they’d trust a drug containing cannabis if it was prescribed by their doctor, while 56 per cent agreed their doctor knows how to treat them with cannabis.

Eleven per cent of Canadians said they’ve asked their doctor to prescribe cannabis for a health condition and, among those, 45 per cent reported their doctor prescribed cannabis willingly.

Read: Legalization of recreational cannabis won’t disrupt distinct medical pot system