While two-thirds of Canadians support Ottawa’s plans to legalize marijuana, close to half say the federal government should push back the July 1, 2018 deadline for legalization, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.
Support for delaying the timeline for legalization is the strongest in Canada’s two most populous provinces Ontario and Quebec, where six-in-ten respondents say they are not sure that their provincial governments will be ready in time.
By contrast, seven-in-ten respondents on Canada Atlantic and Pacific coasts want the timeline respected.
Four-in-ten Canadians (41 per cent) agree with that the government’s plan to add $1.00 per gram excise tax on top of existing sales taxes.
Nearly one-fifth of respondents feel that there should be no excise tax (22 per cent), while the same number of people (22 per cent) say they would have opted for more than $1.
Most Canadians (56 per cent) also agree with the government’s plan to split the revenue from the sale of marijuana 50/50 between the provincial and federal governments. However, four-in-ten (40 per cent), say the provinces should get a greater share of revenues.
The Liberal government’s Bill C-45 on legalizing marijuana cleared one of the main legislative hurdles on Nov. 27 when it was passed by the House of Commons with 200 MPs voting in favour and 82 against the legislation.
The bill will now have to secure the support of the Senate.
Under the Canadian constitution the federal government has the power to legalize marijuana across the country but setting up a system of regulations for the licencing, sale and distribution of pot is a provincial and territorial prerogative.
However, the federal government’s plan to implement the legalization of marijuana on July 1, 2018 has left many provinces and territories scrambling to come up with a system to licence the product and oversee its distribution and sale.
This has created a patchwork of differing regulations across the country, CBC News reported:
With files from CBC News