While Premier Kathleen Wynne has suggested the LCBO may be the best place to sell recreational cannabis, the Forum Research survey indicates otherwise.
More than a third of those polled — 35 per cent — would like marijuana to be sold in pharmacies.
About a quarter — 26 per cent — prefer “dispensaries,” like the more than 100 now operating illegally in Toronto.
But only 20 per cent believe the government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario should be selling weed at its 654 outlets across the province.
Just 3 per cent felt it should be sold at convenience stores and 2 per cent that individual dealers should be allowed to sell pot.
“While the government considers the LCBO the best place to control and regulate the distribution of legal pot, it is apparent voters don’t agree,” said Forum president Lorne Bozinoff.
“In fact, many find the combination of marijuana and alcohol to be an inappropriate retail mix. Pharmacies and dispensaries are preferred.”
Indeed, Forum found 50 per cent of respondents felt it was “not appropriate” for marijuana to be sold where alcohol is retailed, while 45 per cent felt it was appropriate for weed to be sold alongside booze in the LCBO.
Using interactive voice-response telephone calls, Forum polled 1,173 Ontarians last Tuesday with results considered accurate to within three percentage points 19 times out of 20.
The survey was conducted the same day Wynne reiterated her desire for the LCBO to control recreational marijuana sales.
“We have the LCBO in place (and) I think that we’ve demonstrated that that kind of regulation is efficient and is effective,” the premier said June 21.
Officials from a dozen provincial departments are working on a cannabis strategy that will examine the impact of legalized recreational weed on health, road safety, the justice system, and other areas.
They want to be prepared for changes that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government are expected to introduce next year.
Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, now the Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest, is leading Trudeau’s charge to update Canada’s cannabis laws.
Blair has said the LCBO is effective at keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage consumers and has expressed concern about the dispensaries springing up.
Toronto Mayor John Tory noted Monday the storefronts are exploiting the limbo period between the Ottawa promising to legalize recreational weed and the upcoming reforms.
“If the federal government had chosen to do something pending their new legislation, which I support, to regulate dispensaries, that would be fine with me,” said Tory, defending the police crackdown.
“But in the absence of that, we had to take action to investigate licensing. We had an exponential increase in the number of these dispensaries; it just wasn’t a satisfactory way to do business and not a satisfactory way to build this city,” he said.
Forum also found that 54 per cent approve of legalization while 38 per cent disapprove and 8 per cent weren’t sure.
Ontarians were split on whether homegrown weed should be allowed — 42 per cent said it should and 45 per cent said it shouldn’t with 13 per cent unsure.
Interestingly, only 43 per cent admitted to using marijuana while 57 per cent claimed they had never imbibed. By comparison, 69 per cent said they drink alcohol while 31 per cent said they don’t.
Of those drinkers, 81 per cent said they had smoked weed while only 19 per cent of non-drinkers had.
Where appropriate, results have been statistically weighted by age, region, and other variables to ensure the sample reflects the actual population according to the latest census data.
Forum Research houses its complete poll results in the data library of the University of Toronto political science department.
source – https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/06/28/ontarians-not-sold-on-lcbo-weed-sales-poll-shows.html