A new nationwide survey in Canada shows that 66 percent of people believe that ‘the possession of marijuana in small amounts’ should be ‘decriminalized so that it no longer carries a penalty or fine.’ The survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid for Postmedia News and Global TV from June 18-25. It’s the fifth installment of a series examining Canadian values, icons and culture.
According to the National Post, “Support for decriminalization is strongest in Atlantic Canada (72 per cent) followed by British Columbia, Saskatchewan/Manitoba and Ontario – in all three regions, support for decriminalization runs at 69 per cent. Opposition to decriminalization is strongest in Alberta, where 42 per cent of people don’t like the idea.”
In 1987 Ipsos Reid conducted similar polls, which found that just 39 percent supported decriminalization. The result was 55 percent in 2003. The National Post went on to say, “The poll found that support for decriminalization is strongest among upper-income earners. Three-quarters of those earning more than $100,000 a year think it should be decriminalized. Fifty-eight per cent of those living in households with children supported decriminalization, while the figure rose to 67 per cent for those in households without kids.”
The Global News broke down the statistics even further, “This time around, support was strongest in Atlantic Canada (71 per cent), Ontario (69 per cent), British Columbia (69 per cent), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (69 per cent). Those with a university degree under their belts had the highest degree of support at 71 per cent, followed by those with some post secondary education (69 per cent), and a high school diploma (63 per cent). Finally, middle aged Canadians were most likely to support lax cannabis laws at 69 per cent.”
One would think that with such an overwhelming majority of Canadians supporting marijuana reform the leaders of Canada would get on board. Sadly, that is not the case. “Let me remind you of why these drugs are illegal. They are illegal because they quickly and totally – with many of the drugs – destroy people’s lives and people are willing to make lots of money out of selling those products to people and destroying their lives. And no amount of law – whether it’s having the approach in the Muslim world to execution, all the way to full legalization, nothing is going to prevent the reality that this is a trade, people attempting to make rich by destroying people’s lives. It’s that simple.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the National Post.
Ipsos Reid surveyed 1,009 Canadians through its online panel. It has a national margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error is higher in the smaller provincial samples.