53% of Atlantic Canadians support marijuana legalization: poll

More than 50% of Atlantic Canadians are in favour of weed legalization, according to a recent CRA poll.
More than 50% of Atlantic Canadians are in favour of weed legalization, according to a recent CRA poll. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

More than half of Atlantic Canadians support legalizing marijuana for personal use, according to a Corporate Research Associates (CRA) poll released Wednesday.

CRA surveyed 1,502 Atlantic Canadians between Nov. 7 and Dec 1., and found that for the first time since tracking began in 2012, 53 per cent support the legalization.

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That’s up from 49 per cent in November 2015. Forty-one per cent of those surveyed oppose legalization for personal use.

The federal government announced more steps Tuesday in its process to legalize marijuana, including establishing that marijuana should be sold in separate stores and that pot should be available for sale to those 18 or older.

The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation was tasked in June to make recommendations on how marijuana should be produced, sold and regulated in Canada once it’s legal.

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Their recommendations are still only that — recommendations — legislation still needs to be drafted and passed by Parliament.

The survey also suggests 82 per cent of Atlantic Canadians supported marijuana legalization for medical purposes. Thirteen per cent opposed legal medical marijuana, while four per cent either didn’t have an opinion, or answered “do not know.”

The task force recommended Canada’s current medical marijuana system stay the same.

It also recommended a limit on personal possession of non-medical weed at 30 grams — the same limit that would be placed on stores selling weed to patrons.

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CRA found that support for weed legislation for personal use was highest in young people aged 18 to 34 — 70 per cent of respondents in that age group were in favour.

“Support for the legalization of marijuana for personal use has been slowly, but steadily increasing over the last three years,” Don Mills, chairman and CEO CRA said in a release.

“That support, however, is not uniform across the four Atlantic Provinces, as Nova Scotians are more supportive of such legislation than the three other provinces in the region.”

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It’s expected the federal government will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana in the spring.

The results of this survey are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly independent telephone survey. Results are accurate to within 2.5 percentage points, or 95 out of 100 times. 

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