A new Angus Reid poll released today shows an increasing level of support for legalization among Canadians, but strong skepticism about the government's plans to do so.
While 63% of those Canadians polled say they support the government's plans to legalize marijuana, 66% percent say they don't believe it will keep pot out of the hands of kids, a key goal of and reasoning behind the Liberal government's plans for cannabis.
The report also notes the growing trend of support, comparing similar polling since 1975, with percentages steadily increasing over time. It also shows that while about half of Canadians think it's a good idea (56%), another 30% consider it a bad idea and another 13% are unsure.
Younger Canadians and those in Western Canada are the most supportive, with older Canadians and those in Quebec being the least supportive.
Of those polled on the government's proposed personal public possession limit of 30 grams, 45% say this is right, but another 48% say it should be lower. 43% say they support the government's four-plant personal cultivation limit, with another 29% saying they don't believe any plants should be legal. Over half of those polled (58%) said the age limit of 18 should be higher.
As for the new strict limits and penalties for impaired driving that is part of Bill C-46, which accompanies the Liberal's Bill C-45, Canadians say they are evenly split on how effective these new rules will be. Younger people are more likely to say it would help, with older Canadians being more likely to say it won't.
Protecting the youth
66% of Canadians polled say they don't see the new laws lowering youth use of cannabis. Lowering Canada's record high level of youth consumption rates of cannabis is a key goal of the Liberal government's plans to legalize.
Another major reason given by the government for legalizing marijuana is to take money from the hands of organized crime. Canadians are equally skeptical at the effectiveness of this, with a majority of Canadians (55%) saying it will not keep money from gangs.
58% of those polled say legalizing marijuana will do more harm than good, with another 42% say it will do the opposite. Those in British Columbia are far more likely to say it would work (72%), with Quebec being the lowest, with only 47% of those polled saying legalization will do more harm than good.
Dispensaries, Pharmacies and Liquor Stores
68% say cannabis should be sold in cannabis-specific stores (dispensaries). 63% say private business like pharmacies should be able to sell cannabis. 60% would like to see it sold through provincial stores, like liquor stores. Only 35% want to see it sold online. Support for dispensaries was strongest in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Manitoba had the highest level of support for government-controlled sales (73%).
Read the full report here