March 23, 2017

David Larkins, Winnipeg SunFirst Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 02:42 PM CDT | Updated: Thursday, March 16, 2017 02:47 PM CDT

Manitobans are the most supportive of marijuana legalization, a new nationwide online poll shows.

The poll by NRG Research conducted over five days in February found Manitoba leading in support for legalization with 59% of respondents saying they’d be in favour of it. That’s slightly ahead of British Columbia, which showed 57% of respondents supporting.

Winnipeg-based NRG president Andrew Enns said there’s still a sizable portion of the public hovering in the middle ground, which leaves the potential for opinion swings over the coming months.

“There’s certainly a percentage of people who legitimately just don’t know at this point,” Enns said. “They’re not sure whether they support, they’re opposed, they’re just uncertain at this point. That’s about 16% of the total population, which is a chunk of opinion that’s still out there that will likely form opinions.

“And then there’s another 40% that are pretty lukewarm, and on an issue like this those are the views that are probably subject to movement.”

Enns said the strongest opinions seem to come from those in opposition.

“I would say there’s stronger somewhat support than that strong support,” he said. “The opponents are a little bit more strongly opposed than I would say somewhat opposed.

“They’re still pretty opposed to this thing, they don’t really see any good way to do it. They’ll probably be opposed to it after it comes in.”

Enns said the most contentious debates continue to be around the impact legalization would have on minors and how taxation would work.

NRG’s poll shows 59% of Canadians believe legalization would increase use by minors, while 63% would support a tax on marijuana if legalized.


Andrew Enns