Canadians Divided on Legalization of Marijuana

  Canadians Divided on Legalization of Marijuana

Posted by FoM on June 24, 2001 at 16:17:53 PT
By Michelle MacAfee 
Source: Montreal Gazette 

Canadians appeared evenly split about whether the federal government should move to legalize marijuana for personal use, suggests a new poll. The Leger Marketing survey indicated 46.8 per cent of Canadians questioned earlier this month were in favour of a law that would allow marijuana to be sold and used legally. Forty-seven per cent of respondents were opposed to such a measure, while 6.2 per cent either didn't know or refused to answer the question. 
"What this poll suggests is that the government doesn't necessarily have a blank cheque," Jean-Marc Leger, president of Leger Marketing, said in an interview. "It might be acceptable to the population but it will also take a certain dose of courage by politicians if they want to legalize it because it's not accepted by everyone in the same way." Regional breakdowns in favour of legalized marijuana were as follows: Quebec, 52.7 per cent; British Columbia, 52.4; Ontario, 45.9; the Maritimes, 44.7; the Prairies, 37.4; and Alberta, 36.9. Leger Marketing surveyed 1,507 people across the country between June 5 and 13. The national results are considered accurate within plus or minus 2.6 percentage points 19 times out of 20. The margins of error for the regional breakdowns are higher. The questions did not distinguish between the use of pot for medicinal purposes and its recreational use. Leger noted previous polls have indicated strong support for the use of medicinal marijuana. In April, Health Minister Allan Rock announced long-awaited new regulations that will allow certain people with terminal or serious illnesses to use marijuana to ease their suffering. The move has met with little opposition and is expected to take effect by the end of July. But groups such as the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police are among those to have called on Ottawa to take the bolder step of decriminalizing the possession of marijuana for any kind of personal use. Tory Leader Joe Clark recently called for the decriminalization of the simple possession of small amounts of dope. Meanwhile, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion before the summer recess to create a committee to examine the issues of non-medical drugs in Canada. A spokesperson for Rock said the minister is "looking forward enthusiastically to the discussion and debate" of the committee. But Catherine Lappe noted decriminalization of marijuana is not the intended priority of a federal national drug strategy the Liberals promised in the election campaign last fall. Leger said the debate over marijuana closely resembles those that have taken place at the provincial level over video lottery terminals, casinos or the sale of alcohol. "People are often very divided on these kinds of questions," said Leger. "So it's not the population that will push the government, but results like this leave the government with a certain latitude." The Leger poll also indicated that more than a third, 38.7 per cent, of those surveyed admitted to having used marijuana at least once. Forty-nine per cent of respondents in British Columbia said they had used it, while the figure in Ontario was 35.8 per cent. When asked whether a law authorizing the sale and use of marijuana would reduce the use of the drug among minors, 57.4 per cent of those asked said "not at all", while only seven per cent said "a lot." While 17.1 per cent said the reduction would be "a little", 13.9 per cent said it would be "enough" and 4.6 per cent said they did not know or refused to answer. Complete Title: Canadians Divided on Legalization of Marijuana, a New Opinion Poll Suggests Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)Author: Michelle MacAfeePublished: June 24, 2001Copyright: 2001 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.Contact: letters thegazette.southam.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Canadian Links See Marijuana as Health Hazard Lean Toward Easing Marijuana Laws't Hold Your Breath in All This Smoke

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Comment #4 posted by Pirgulation on June 25, 2001 at 04:38:26 PT

You've gotta look at their percentages and compair them to other things..Compare the %'s to cigarette smoking. The world is devided in the same way..I think the similar laws regarding cig. smoking should be given to marijuana smoking. IE: Age restrictions, laws against sales to minors etc.I was doing a lookup on the net trying to find the exact percentages, couldnt find it, BUT i did find some interesting story's.. They reflect almost the same thing that the governments are saying about Marijuana..Impotence, irradic behaviour etc etc etc.. Go figure..Next on the prohibition list..Anyhow - PIf Canada would decriminalize, it would be a great step for the world, and one more study proven, to the world, that it is not such a bad thing.. Also, 1 closer step that the U.S. would have to look at closely. (And hopefully do the same)
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Comment #3 posted by lookinside on June 24, 2001 at 21:09:55 PT:

i think most who read these posts agree that pot should belegal, and almost all are for legal medical use...  in the united states, anyone(over the legal drinking age)can make beer or wine for their own use...if pot islegalized, growing for your own consumption should belegal...where the "moonshiners" had problems is they didn'tpay the federal taxes placed on alcohol...the same wouldapply to a grower who sold part of his crop for cash...ithink the rules involving alcohol are a good template forthe legalization of pot...i hope it happens soon....(don'tget me wrong...i hate ALL taxes, but let's go one step at atime, at a dead run!)
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on June 24, 2001 at 17:57:56 PT

Too Much Trouble
All this trouble to legalize a plant, when our freedom should have never been taken away to begin with.
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Comment #1 posted by aocp on June 24, 2001 at 16:29:07 PT

Take note
When asked whether a law authorizing the sale and use of marijuana would reduce the use of the drug among minors, 57.4 per cent of those asked said "not at all", while only seven per cent said "a lot."This does not indicate that prohibition is a better solution, but rather that regulation should be looked at and considered in a more serious light. This means, of course, WHATSOEVER, since the antis would have us believe that regulation and cannabis are two great tastes that just DO NOT taste great together. I disagree and would love to frost this tasty cake with some just enforcement of, oh, say, age restrictions and the like. How's that sound?
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