Surprising number of Canadians are now skeptical about legalization

Surprising number of Canadians are now skeptical about legalization

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

If ever the country was in need of a national mellowing out, it’s arguably now. U.S. President Donald Trump is back to his flame-throwing on NAFTA, the pipeline file remains a twisted pretzel of uncertainty, the Saudis want us to say sorry to them, we want Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to say sorry to us (or at least, stop willingly presiding over a humanitarian disaster) and our Governor General just doesn’t seem to be that into her job. Too much is happening! No wonder we’re stressed.

Yet, with weeks until it’s available to legally, Canadians don’t appear to be lining up to avail themselves of the supposedly soothing effects of a little cannabis consumption: only about one-quarter declare they intend to toke, or otherwise use marijuana for recreational purposes after Oct. 17, according to new polling from the Angus Reid Institute.

This is hardly the kind of excited delirium that appeared to greet the news that buying and possessing pot in this country would no longer mean breaking the law. Indeed, between massive 4/20 crowds converging each spring, and public support for legalization as high as nearly 70 per cent just a couple of years ago, one might have expected Canadians to be significantly more jazzed about legalizing the herbal jazz weed.

Instead we are oh-so-ironically anxious about it all. While support for legalization remains the majority view, the transition from idea to reality is bringing with it skepticism about the benefits proponents touted decriminalization would offer.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site, where it was initially published.