More than half of Canadians think pot laws should be relaxed -

More than half of Canadians think pot laws should be relaxed

But one in five believes the penalties should be even stricter


According to a Léger Marketing poll for QMI Agency, more than half of Canadians want laxer pot laws: 21 per cent think the federal government should decriminalize soft drugs like marijuana, while 34 per cent say it should be legalized and taxed like tobacco and alcohol. Also, men are more likely to believe in the legalization of marijuana than women, and more youth side with the slacker pot laws than seniors. But one in five Canadians think penalties for people caught with cannabis should be even tougher, and only 16% think the current laws are adequate. Léger vice-president Dave Scholz says Canadians’ views on pot have remained fairly consistent over the years, though this latest poll reveals a growing demand for more liberal laws in Ontario. “Given that we’re at numbers of half saying decriminalize or legalize, is it the will of the nation? Possibly,” he said. “Is it the best move forward for the government to take? That’s for them to figure out.”

Ottawa Sun

Filed under:

More than half of Canadians think pot laws should be relaxed

  1. Teens consistently report that tobacco and alcohol are more difficult to obtain than illicit drugs.

    Doesn't this tell us anything?

    You'd be surprised what we could get away with in terms of regulations just by taking control of this.

    Think of what we've managed with alcohol and cigarettes in terms of bylaws and other control tactics.

    We may still have some problems associated with alcohol and tobacco, but we don't have the problems associated with alcohol and tobacco prohibition, ie enriching criminals while exacerbating poverty and social alienation.

    Seems to me the prohibitionists are confusing the debate over how best to cope with drugs in society with the argument the whether or not these drugs should exist at all.

    They do. It's time to accept this and put in place a better control mechanism. One at least as strong as those governing cigarettes and alcohol.

    You can't eliminate bad choices, but you can make them work to society's benefit far more than we are today.

  2. The same one in five that have never tried it.

  3. Decriminalize? Will that make posession an unreported crime?

    I hear there's an epidemic of unreported crimes.

  4. Legalize it, tax, control and regulate it. I agree 100%.

    I heard a radio interview several years ago that had someone from the Fraser Institute on recommending its legalization mainly for the $8.Billion it would take out of the hands of Organized crime in B.C. alone.

    • Exactly. I can't believe how difficult this process has been. Legalize it; grow it locally; tax it. The only thing you have to worry about is listening to the US complain.

    • Will this mean we have to buy weed from agency stores and it will be really weak compared to what we can get now?

      • That and you can listen to the evils of smoking and how we must tax it even more to pay for the cancer treatment associated with smoking.
        Just imagine the blunders of the bureaucracy and the minister in charge gets wrangled for testing too much of the product.

      • Think wine store – choice is good, not everyone likes the high test.

  5. Well, either we treat drug addiction as an illness, whereby the dealers are exploiting users, which makes the dealers abusers and the users victims, or we treat drug addiction as a crime, and throw the whole lot in jail, based on the amount they have in their posession and what they intended to do with it.

    Calling users "victims" of dealers while simultaneously incarcerating dime-bag users doesn't make much sense (much though I, personally, can't stand the stuff).

    • Can you stand booze and tobacco? It's not like we're ever going to have consensus on this issue any more than we will on any other issue.

    • As to treating drug use as an illness and calling users as victims, is irrational. Where will the buck stopped? If you take responsibility out of the equation, it will create a society of infants .

      • Without agreeing or disagreeing with your statement, I'd like to point out that the language Toews' used in a 2006 speech would indicate that youth, in particular, would be "victims" of dealers should they "succumb" to drug use.

        And, Harper himself indicated that the organized criminals fuelling the fire are "exploiting" the addictions of others.

        Meanwhile, it's been on the books since 1996 that obtaining more than 30 grams of marijuana can land you in prison – six months, for a first-time, small-time buyer, and longer if you're a repeat offender (up to five years less a day.)

  6. But if the pot laws are relaxed, what will Stockwell Day do with the prisons he plans to build to house all the criminals who smoke pot and never reported it? Somsbody better tell Stock really soon, so he doesn't waste $10 billion on prisons that aren't needed.

    • Yeah, I can't see decriminalization under the Tories. They're too busy making us America Jr.

      • California may be leading the way with the cannabis issue. Major vote coming up next month, if I'm correct.

        • November 2nd actually.

  7. I agree with decriminilazation of Marijuana but it has to be regulated and taxed heavily. Education campaign like what has been done with smoking and drinking driving has to be put in place. We should not hold our breath in thinking that this decriminalization will somehow eradicate guns, gangs, drugs, and violent crimes on the street. Most of gang wars happening is not because of gangs protecting their Marijuana market but of the more expensive hard core drugs. As few users describe it, Marijuana is an entry drug. They said, most of Marijuana users will have less choice but advance to hard core drugs for higher highs with less odor and less unpleasant taste. Surprisingly when I asked some drug users with family and children, they are against decriminalization of Marijuana.

    • Anecdotal much?

      Look, if it's decriminalized I suspect most people would grow their own.

      If legalized, I doubt the government would get far selling a lousy product, it would just drive up the black market again.

      And BTW, marijuana is a multi-billion dollar intake for crime organizations. Losing that would be a far bigger hit to them than you realize.

      And finally, please dispense with the gateway nonsense. If that were true then all forms of drugs would have the same effect, such as alcohol and prescription painkillers.

      In fact I would suggest the opposite. People tend to stick to their vice of choice. My grandfather drank scotch his whole life and wouldn't touch a beer.

      • And of course I finished of with my own anecdotal comment! LOL

        Ah the irony!

        • I agree with you, and as you would have read my whole comment, I am for decriminalization. As for anecdotes, it would be irresponsible to consider it as nonesense and ignore them completely , not everybody are like your grandfather. Sadly, probably due to curiosity, some people acquire more vices rather than sticking in one. As drug use becomes widespread, there should be more study why some are susceptible to getting hooked on drugs, and some aren't.

  8. While I really do appreciate the moral perspective some attempt to embody, good public policy must be measured by its effectiveness and ability to actually achieve the goals it is designed to respond to.

    The "war on drugs" has been an unmitigated failure in this regard, and has done far more to aggravate the problem than solve it.

    Ideally we should strive to create a society in which we can all make our own choices without forcing others to live with the consequences.

    Instead we still seem to embrace the notion that what we merely don't like in others is justification to ostracize them from society.

    The result is a blackmarket that enriches and is controlled by organized crime.

  9. Prohibition will never end. The whole thing is a scam designed to accustom the public to an ongoing and ever-increasing police presence in their daily lives. It has nothing at all to do with public safety, it is all about control.

    The war was never meant to be won, it was meant to be continuous. It isn't about reducing crime or drug use. It never was. The whole thing is designed to give police leverage to harass the poor, the young, people of colour, and people with non-regulation hairstyles. It is designed to keep cops busy, lawyers rich, politicos blathering, and jails full. It looks pretty successful to me.

    In fact….. expect MORE plants to become illegal. anything with any medical value will be illegal to grow. watch for it. it is already happening in the US.

  10. As someone whose dream is to own his own small farm, I completely support legalization of marijuana. ;)

    Seriously though, I've said before on these forums that I support the decriminalization of all drug use, as long as there are ways to institutionalize non-functioning addicts for those with a fiduciary interest in that addict. More people will use these drugs if they are decriminalized (though only in the short term), so we need a plan to deal with the inevitable.

    For Russell Barth, never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity or misguided good intentions.

  11. The people who support ANY legalese of this sickness cannabis intake are seriously invalid and mentally deformed to make any decision one way or the other to even discuss the subject. In fact its not a subject at all. Its a stupid statement brought about by the social fans and a filthy network of dealers and dope addicts. How do they buy a computer anyway? I don't know what these sick folks do in life for greatness in Canada besides wasting the judicial works of the day. Certainly they do not produce a product we can enjoy and buy for our KIDS or the next generation. They are mainly focused on where to get their next filthy joint. And since the stuff is confiscated as fast as it hits the streets, these filthies, might as well get a social government to open its closed mind for 'THEM' to get their crap either legally or for free. What a sick bunch of Canadians surrounding the good stressed out over taxed folks of you and me. Put them all in jail for 50 years if they possess. This time in jail should correct their mentality of life in a great country like Canada-a place on Earth that has everything and anything in the world right around the corner. All one has to do is think straight to understand what we have!

    • LOL……..

      Perhaps we should put all the filthy habits in jail for 50 years as well. People that smoke tobacco, drink Alcohol, Eat fast food, All obese People, and My pet peeve…Litter-bugs.

      That should just about restore our great country back to it's natural wilderness.

  12. To Agent 5,

    You are about the most uninformed and deluded person I've ever seen comment on this debate. You obviously know nothing about pot and think it is just like heroin or crack. Get your facts straight buddy. I've smoked weed a -lot-, I've also stopped smoking it cold turkey and hardly noticed. Marijuana is pretty much exactly like alcohol except you can't die from smoking too much, you don't get a hangover, and it is much, much harder to become addicted to. Idiots like you would rather put people you disagree with in jail than try to understand anything about their point of view.

    Now to everyone else,

    Legalize this drug, and treat it the exact same way as we do alcohol. Criminals and criminal organizations sell pot because it is illegal. The government, by keeping it prohibited, is literally letting the pockets of criminals fill with the money of those who would most likely rather buy their pot in a store (myself included, though my drug dealers are very nice fellows who only sell pot and are not into any sort of -actual- crime). So think of all the money the drug dealers are making, couple that with the money the government spends keeping it illegal, and you would have several billions of dollars. We could use this money to do all kinds of things that would benefit all Canadians, perhaps fixing the CPP?

    Yours truly and confused as to why people don't GET IT,