Pro-pot sentiment high in northern BC

It hardly falls into the category of a major surprise but the notion of legalizing and taxing marijuana remains very popular in BC.

A new online survey shows two thirds of adults support pot legalization, with the number rising to 72 percent, when considering those under 35, and to 77 percent of those who live on Vancouver Island.

There’s a higher number opposed, here in the north, but Insights West pollster, Mario Canseco says, it is still a definite minority.

“The numbers in northern BC are 62 per cent supporting legalization and 33 per cent who are definitely not in favour. What we have here is a two to one margin,” Canseco said.

“The main argument… (in favour) is the notion that if you tax and regulate marijuana, and essentially treat it like alcohol, there will be more revenues for the government. This is the main motivator for most people, especially for those over 55.

Canseco continued: “There’s two things on the minds of those who would not like to see marijuana legalized. The first one is the notion there will be more cases of impaired driving. More than half of residents believe this is something that should be taken into consideration.

“But, we also see a lot of people who are worried about the fact that if you legalize marijuana it might become easier for children and teens to access it,” he said.

Putting on his political pundit hat, Canseco says it will be interesting to see how political parties handle the issue in the upcoming federal election.

While the Liberals have outright announced their support of legalization, the Conservatives have implemented stricter laws governing weed.

Canseco said the NDP will be a wildcard.

“I think they might show some support in a way for a different kind of regulation but I think they might stop short of saying they want to see it legalized,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a main factor that is going to be motivating people to choose one party over the other.”

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