More than half of Canadians support marijuana legalization, according to a new survey conducted by NRG Research Group.
The survey polled 1,000 online respondents across Canada between February 23 and 27, 2017.
The results show that one-half (51%) of Canadians are in favour legalizing marijuana in the country. One-third (33%) are in opposition, and 14% were unsure how they felt about the decision.
Support varies among provinces
The survey found that Manitobans (59%) were the most supportive of marijuana legalization out of all of the provinces, followed by British Columbians (57%).
Quebecers (27%) were the most likely to oppose legalization.
The survey also indicated that Canadians back the idea of implementing a specific sales tax on marijuana.
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“It appears Canadians have an economic perspective in mind as they consider the issue of legalizing marijuana in the country,” said Andrew Enns, president of NRG Research Group in a release. “A majority (63%) of Canadians support a specific sales tax on marijuana if it were to be legalized.”
Provinces in Western Canada show strong support for this idea with 88% of Saskatchewan residents, 73% of Albertans, and 70% of BC residents backing a weed sales tax.
Public perceptions vary
The survey found that Canadians’ public perceptions about legalizing weed still vary.
Six in ten Canadians (59%) believe decriminalizing the drug would increase use by minors, and 67% said that it would cause an increase of people driving under the influence.
A majority of survey respondents (87%) believe that marijuana sales should be made available to adults only.
Cannabis Culture raids
The survey results come just a week after the arrests of marijuana advocates Marc and Jodie Emery at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for possession and trafficking the drug.
Several Emery-owned Cannabis Culture shops across the country– including the Vancouver headquarters–were also raided by police.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to introduce legislation in spring making recreational marijuana legal but also said it would remain illegal until that bill was passed. In December 2016, the federal government released a report, which outlined recommendations for legalizing the drug.