The results from the Government of Saskatchewan’s online Cannabis Survey are in, with 34,681 responses.
The results show that 45.8% of people believe that the legal age should be 19, the same as the legal drinking age. The federal minimum age is 18 and 27.5% of respondents agreed with that being the minimum age.
Just over 58% of people agreed or strongly agreed that there should be zero tolerance for marijuana or any other impairing drugs for any drivers, no matter their age or license status; and just under 66% of people agreed or strongly agreed that the same penalties for alcohol-impaired driving including license suspension, fine and vehicle seizures should apply to drug-impaired driving. However 68.3% of people disagreed or strongly disagreed that the penalties for drug-impaired driving should be tougher than alcohol-impaired penalties.
“The safety of our citizens is of the utmost importance when developing a framework for the legalization of cannabis, and that includes safety on our roads and highways. Marijuana impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, motor co-ordination, and ability to make decisions. Survey respondents made it clear they felt drug use and driving should not mix. The information provided through the survey is valuable to assist us in developing a plan to meet public safety expectations,” says the Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave.
As well, 62.3% believe that marijuana should be sold through a mix of retail stores and online sales; 75.2% of people agree or strongly agree that pot should be sold in walk in retail locations. Approximately 45% of respondents said it should be sold through a government run retailer and 37% said it should be sold through a small business retailer. The three top requirements that should be considered in developing rules and regulations according to responses are training requirements for retail store staff and owners, whether minors should be allowed on the premises and where retail marijuana stores can be located.
Respondents were largely split on what should be done regarding whether there should be restrictions on the amount of pot a person can purchase; 48% of people agree or strongly agree that there should be restrictions, while 34.6% of people disagreed or strongly disagreed; and 16.1% were neutral.
About 54% of people agreed or strongly agreed that smoking marijuana should not be allowed in public spaces and 68.6% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that smoking pot should not be allowed in vehicles.
Just over 48% of people said that growing pot in rental properties should be allowed at the landowners discretion. Eighteen per cent of people responded that the province should not allow people to grow marijuana, while nearly everyone else agreed that residents should be able to grow weed either anywhere on their private property; indoors or outdoors in a secure location; or only indoors in a secured location.
Nearly 61% of people agreed or strongly agreed that there should be an excise tax, with majority of people agreeing a portion of that tax should go towards enforcement, public education, harm reduction, impaired driving prevention, and mental health and addictions treatment.
The province says they will be releasing its framework document outlining the future of cannabis legalization within Saskatchewan in the near future.