Adults in Canada believe the consumption of cannabis should be allowed in their country, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 53 per cent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana. Less than 10 per cent of respondents believe other drugs — such as ecstasy, powder cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth — should be legalized. In July 2002, Canada became the first nation in the world to regulate the consumption of cannabis for medical reasons.
In the 2004 federal election, the Marijuana party — which seeks the outright legalization of the substance — received 0.3 per cent of the popular vote. In November 2004, the Canadian federal government — headed at the time by Liberal prime minister Paul Martin — re-introduced a controversial bill that sought “alternate penalty frameworks” for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The bill, which would have allowed any person caught with 15 grams of the drug or less to face fines instead of criminal charges, was never put to a vote in the House of Commons.
Earlier this month, Debbie Stultz-Giffin — a member of Maritimers United for Medical Marijuana — urged the current administration to abandon its proposal to authorize a mandatory six-month prison sentence for marijuana growers, adding, “With the federal government talking about pulling exemption holders grow permits and forcing us to buy our marijuana from the government, it’s going to put a lot of medical marijuana patients in a precarious situation.”
Do you support the legalization of the following?
May 2008 – 53%
Oct. 2007 – 51%
Jun. 2007 – 55%
Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,004 Canadian adults, conducted on May 8-9, 2008. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.