Canadians support cannabis legalization, but feel provinces won't be ready in time: Angus Reid
Nearly half of Canadians want the government to push back the scheduled date for recreational marijuana legalization in the country, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute.
The federal government is expected to make the substance legal by July 1, 2018, but many provinces are still scrambling to finalize their frameworks.
“This is really where the reefer hits the road when it comes to support,” Shachi Kurl, executive director of the Angus Reid Institute, said in an interview with BNN Thursday.
“We are seeing some real concern over lack of confidence in people’s own sense that their provinces will be ready for this.”
Forty-seven per cent of Canadians want the deadline pushed back, with two-thirds of Conservative respondents in favour of a delay. The majority of Liberal (67 per cent) and NDP (57 per cent) voters, however, want to keep the current legalization date.
There is also some division among respondents in different provinces.
Almost 60 per cent of respondents in Quebec and Ontario said they’re unsure whether their provincial government will be ready in time.
But that sentiment wasn’t shared across the country.
Seven in 10 respondents in Atlantic provinces and British Columbia prefer the current timeline.
When it comes to taxation, four-in-10 respondents (41 per cent) say that the government’s $1.00 per gram excise tax is the right amount. But many Canadians say there should be no excise tax at all (22 per cent) or that the tax is too high (16 per cent).
Most respondents are in agreement about the 50-50 revenue split between the provincial and federal governments, with 40 per cent saying provinces should get a bigger piece of the pie.
The majority of Canadians agree cannabis should be legal in the first place, with those 55 over least on board with the idea (60 per cent) whereas more Canadians aged 18-34 (68 per cent) think it should be made legal.
The online survey was conducted from Nov.14 – Nov. 20 among a random sample of 1,510 Canadians.