Pubdate: Wed, 30 Aug 2017
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: David Larkins
Page: 3


Residents have serious concerns about people driving after using

Half of Manitoba adults believe driving while high is the same as or
worse than driving drunk, according to a new Probe Research poll.

The poll, commissioned for CTV News, shows 34% of Manitobans over 18
years of age agree driving under the influence of alcohol is worse
than driving while under the influence of marijuana. Another 16% said
they were unsure, leaving a full 50% of Manitobans who believe driving
after smoking is worse than driving after drinking.

"This hasn't even come close to being normalized yet," Probe
researcher Mary Agnes Welch said of expected legalization. "We're all
so used to going to the beer tent, having a glass of wine after work,
teenagers getting drunk at parties. We aren't quite as used to
marijuana being that much a part of our daily lives. I think there's
hesitancy around all this because it's just not quite as normal to
some people."

Cannabis advocate Steven Stairs said Probe's figures show the
shortcomings of messaging on the topic to date.

"It's natural for us to have skepticism among the population but it's
telling towards the fact there isn't enough information out there
about cannabis and how it affects you," Stairs said. "People lump it
in that it must be worse than alcohol because it's a drug. I think
that itself fosters the disconnect of having any sort of trust in
cannabis. People who use cannabis regularly and drive aren't
predisposed to having more accidents comparatively to someone who
would drink alcohol regularly."

Probe's poll of 1,032 Manitoba adults also found some open-mindedness
to marijuana use, with 67% of respondents saying it wouldn't bother
them if their neighbour was a regular marijuana user. Still, 51% said
they would not be comfortable if a local bar sold edible marijuana
along with alcohol.

Welch said those figures may be ammunition for those who have pushed
for a delay in legalization, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has
slotted for July 2018.

"The more you learn about the details of legalization and some of
these residual fears from the public the more there may be merit to
this notion of a delay," Welch said. "There are a ton of questions
still outstanding - policy questions and even questions in the minds
of average citizens."

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I would be comfortable if bars sold edible marijuana, like brownies or
cookies, along with alcohol.

Agree: 42%; Unsure: 7%; Disagree: 51%

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is worse than driving
while under the influence of marijuana.

Agree: 34%; Unsure: 16%; Disagree: 50%

It would bother me more to learn my neighbour was a regular marijuana
user as opposed to a regular alcohol drinker.

Agree: 24%; Unsure: 9%; Disagree: 67%
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MAP posted-by: Matt