Conducted by the Globe and Mail/Nanos Research via telephone and online surveys, the poll asked 1,000 adults to respond to questions related to the federal government’s proposed legislation.
It found that 62 percent of Canadians support, or somewhat support, the idea of issuing pardons to those with criminal records for possession. About 35 percent were opposed or somewhat opposed to the idea, while the remainder were unsure.
The poll also found that more than half of Canadians, or 55 percent, are opposed or somewhat opposed to proposed legislation that would allow police to demand a breath sample without reasonable suspicion, while 44 percent supported or somewhat supported the idea.
Other results from the poll showed that just 12 percent of Canadians reported using marijuana, while 73 percent said that they do not use it at all, and won’t use it when it becomes legal. The 12 percent that did report using it said they don’t plan to increase the amount they consume when recreational marijuana becomes legal.
About eight percent said they weren’t current users, but that they will use marijuana when it is legalized. Just one percent said they use marijuana now, and plan to use it more frequently when it becomes legal.
As for Health Canada’s ability to test the strength and safety of marijuana, 61 percent of Canadians said they were confident, or somewhat confident, that the federal body is capable of carrying out these tasks, while 35 percent said they were not confident, or somewhat not confident.
Despite pressure from lawyers, advocates, activists, and think-tanks, the federal government has said that there are no plans to issue pardons to those who have been charged with marijuana possession under prohibition.
However, in an interview with Vice Canada last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to “look at what we can do for those folks who have criminal records for something that would no longer be criminal”.
Since Trudeau has been in office, there have been more than 22,400 arrests for cannabis possession.