The legalization of recreational marijuana may be less than a year away, but Canadians remain divided about such fundamentals as where it should be sold, what the legal minimum age of consumption should be and whether the provinces or Ottawa should take the lead, according to a new poll.
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The Nanos Research poll of 1,000 adult Canadians, conducted for CTV News, found that about three in 10 people (27.6 per cent) agree that the minimum age of consumption should be set at 18, while another three in 10 (29.5 per cent) believe that the age should be set at 21. Smaller numbers say that the age limit should be something else or that marijuana should remain illegal.
The federal government’s proposed legislation would limit sales to people age 18 and older while allowing provinces to set higher minimum ages. Some medical groups have been urging the minimum age to be set at 21 because human brains still develop into a person’s 20s.
Canadians also seem split on where marijuana should be sold, according to the poll. While 29 per cent say “it doesn’t make any difference … as long as there are rules and regulations that control access,” an almost equal number agree that it should be sold only in provincially-owned government outlets (25 per cent) as the number who want it sold in non-government stores, like pharmacies and specialty shops (26 per cent). The rest say it should remain illegal or are unsure.
When it comes to which government should set the rules, 57 per cent say the federal government should take the lead, 32 per cent say it should be up to the provinces and 11 per cent are unsure.
The poll results are based on an RDD dual frame (landline and cellphone) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians between July 23 and July 26. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.