Canadians divided on the details of legal pot sales

With recreational marijuana set to be legalized in Canada, a recent poll finds that Canadians remain divided about the fundamentals of the framework that will guide its sale in this country.

A Nanos Research poll conducted for CTV News and released this weekend found that around a third of Canadians think that the minimum age for purchasing and using recreational mairjuana should be 18, but another third believe that the age should instead be set at 21.  Smaller groups think that the age limit should be even higher, or that pot should remain illegal.

Some doctors and medical groups have urged Ottawa to set a minimum age of 21, instead of the currently-planned 18, for pot consumption, because young people's brains are continuing to develop until they reach their twenties.

Canadians also seem to disagree about how pot should be sold once it becomes legal on July 1st of next year.  A quarter of those surveyed want it sold in provincially-run monopolies, similar to how alcohol is sold through the SAQ or LCBO.  Almost the exact same number of those surveyed, 26%, say that it should instead be pharmacies and specialty stores that get to sell legal pot.

29%, however, said it "doesn't make an difference, as long as there are rules and regulations to control access."

One thing that Canadians do seem to broadly agree on, however, is that the federal government should take a strong role in developing the framework of sale once pot is legalized.  Just 32% believe that the process should be left to the provinces, which it largely will be under the current federal legislation.

The poll results are based on an RDD dual frame (landline and cellphone) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians between July 23 and July 26. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.