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EXCLUSIVE: Many Canadians not ready for legalized pot, poll finds

News Staff | posted Thursday, Jun 28th, 2018

Although Ottawa has delayed legalizing recreational marijuana by a month, more than half of Canadians still think it’s all happening too fast, according to an exclusive poll for CityNews by Dart Insight.

Last week, after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Cannabis Act would go into effect on Oct. 17, a full 55 per cent of Canadians polled said they wanted the date pushed back by up to a year.

In fact, three provinces — including Quebec, where the desire for a delay is highest — asked for more time to figure out how to regulate the production, distribution and consumption of pot.

Members of the Senate’s Aboriginal people’s committee had also proposed a delay as they were particularly concerned about the risks to Indigenous communities already struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, mental health issues and a suicide epidemic.

But, the government promised the committee more funding for services, help with the licensing process and full reports to Parliament in the fall and within 12 months.

Still, 53 per cent of those polled are worried marijuana will have a negative effect on their community. Six in 10 don’t believe their municipal police force is ready for the change, and 55 per cent don’t believe their province has plans to deal with impaired driving.

Manitoba’s justice minister Heather Stefanson has said she’s concerned reliable roadside testing devices won’t be available by Oct. 17.

The survey found only one in five (21 per cent) Canadians are likely to use marijuana when it’s legal — nine per cent are more likely to do so — and many are concerned about the health effects.

Half are concerned about addiction for underage kids, and seven in 10 believe adults with children should be banned from smoking pot in their home.

Most — 73 per cent — want pot regulated the same as cigarettes.

Although provinces are creating their own distribution channels, seven in 10 Canadians are concerned a black market will continue for lower-priced pot.

And while six in 10 Canadians are cynical about the Liberal government’s motives for legalizing pot, two-thirds won’t vote them out in the next federal election because of it.

However, for at least one-third (35 per cent), marijuana legalization could affect how they vote.

“It may well be that for many who were going to vote against the Liberals already it just adds one more log on the fire,” Dart Insight said.

The survey was conducted between June 8 and 13 among 2,666 randomly-selected Canadian adults who are members of an online panel. It’s accurate to within +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Comments

  • Anne McAlpine Bellissimo says:

    I have to wonder where these polls come from. The decision is made. This is not a new issue for the police. Enough of this nonsense of not being ready. More people won’t smoke pot because it is legal. Nothing will change other than it is legal.

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