Exactly 50% of Canadians support legalizing marijuana, according to poll results released Monday by Angus-Reid Public Opinion. Some 44% oppose legalization, with 6% undecided.
Support for pot legalization was highest in Manitoba and Saskatechewan (61%), British Columbia (54%), and Ontario (51%). Support was weakest in Alberta (45%).
The poll also asked about support for legalizing drugs other than marijuana. In no case was support for legalizing hard drugs higher than 10%.
The poll also queried respondents on whether Canada has a "drug problem" and how serious it is, as well as their positions on several drug policy-related government proposals. Slightly more than a third (37%) thought Canada has a drug abuse problem that affects the whole country, while 41% thought the drug abuse problem was reserved for "specific areas and people." Only 11% thought Canada did not have a serious drug problem, and 10% had no opinion or didn't know.
When it came to policies, there was strong (81%) support for a National Anti-Drug Strategy, including a national youth awareness campaign to keep kids off drugs. But the Conservative government's push against harm reduction measures, such as needle exchanges and Vancouver's safe injection site was supported by only 35% of respondents and its scrapping of the previous Liberal government's pot decriminalization proposal was supported by only 33%.
But somewhat paradoxically, while half of Canadians support pot legalization and nearly as many (47%) support the Liberal decriminalization plan, nearly two-thirds (64%) support the Conservatives' bill to impose mandatory minimum sentences on people growing as few as five pot plants, as well as people convicting of selling other drugs. That number may, however, be an artifact resulting from the question design, which conflated "marijuana grow operators" and "drug dealers."
It appears that marijuana is indeed related to schizophrenia--at least in the Canadian political psyche.