Legalizing pot is OK, but not a priority for Canadians: poll
Julia Ratcliffe, a technical consultant with The Bug Factory, a company that supplies insects for natural pest control, examines marijuana plants for pests at the MediJean medical marijuana facility in Richmond, B.C., on Friday March 21, 2014. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:57PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:32PM EDT
According to a new poll, most Canadians support legalizing marijuana, but don’t see it as a pressing issue.
Six out of every 10 people polled said they would support pro-marijuana legislation, according to a survey by Angus Reid Global. However, most respondents said it’s more important to implement tougher penalties against violent crimes than it is to legalize pot.
British Columbia was the most pro-pot, with 70 per cent of respondents saying “Yes” to marijuana. Atlantic Canada also showed strong support with 68 per cent of respondents backing marijuana legislation. Alberta and Quebec had the weakest pro-marijuana responses at 53 per cent in each province, according to the poll.
The survey found men were slightly more supportive of legalizing marijuana than women, and individuals with left-leaning political views were significantly more likely to say “OK” to pot, compared to those who vote for the Conservative Part of Canada.
It’s currently illegal to possess any form or amount of marijuana in Canada. Only individuals with a medical permit are exempt from the law.
Colorado and Washington are the only two North American jurisdictions where it’s legal to buy, possess and use marijuana. The two states legalized the drug for medical and recreational use in November of 2012.
The survey results come as so-called “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery is returning to Canada after serving a five-year jail sentence in the U.S. for possession of marijuana seeds in Seattle, Wash. Marijuana was not legal in the state at the time. He was due back in British Columbia on Tuesday.
Emery’s wife, Jodie Emery, says she and her husband are working out the details for a 30-city Canadian advocacy tour to promote legalizing the drug.
Angus Reid Global surveyed 1,510, Canadian adults and found that 59 per cent of respondents supported legalizing marijuana, while 41 per cent opposed it. The numbers were similar to an earlier survey the pollster conducted two years ago.
The Angus Reid Global poll is considered to be accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Angus Reid Global commissioned and paid for the survey on its own.
The following infographic shows a breakdown of the pot poll.
With files from the Canadian Press