Pubdate: Wed, 27 Sep 2017
Source: Guardian, The (CN PI)
Copyright: 2017 The Guardian, Charlottetown Guardian Group Incorporated
Author: Alison Auld
Page: A7


Canadians favour marijuana legalization, curious about products,
survey shows

Canadians favour marijuana legalization, curious about products,
survey shows Canadians appear to have an appetite for
marijuana-infused munchies, according to a new survey that found a
healthy majority both supported the legalization of recreational pot
use but had clear concerns about children's access to edible products
containing cannabis.

The poll by researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax found that
about 68 per cent of people across the country favour the impending
legalization of pot, with the bulk of that support in B.C. and Ontario.

Just over 45 per cent said they would buy food containing marijuana,
with 46 per cent saying they would purchase pot-laced baked goods like
brownies and muffins if they were legal.

However, more than half of those surveyed said they had overarching
concerns about the potential harms to children who may be drawn to
gummy candies, cookies and other confections containing the
psychoactive chemical.

In B.C., for example, about 81 per cent of those surveyed expressed
concern over increased access to pot by young adults.

"The risk element around children was quite high at 58.5 per cent, so
there seems to be a bit of paradox out there," said Sylvain
Charlebois, a professor of food distribution and policy at Dalhousie
who coauthored the report released Tuesday.

"On the one hand, people are willing to accept the legalization of
non-medicinal marijuana but at the same time they do recognize
societal risks related to doing so."

The aim of the survey, done over four weeks in August, was to gauge
Canadians' perception of recreational marijuana as a food ingredient
when it is legalized next July, if they would use it in their diet
and, if so, how they would prepare it.

It found that despite people's apparent willingness to try edible
products, the bulk of survey participants indicated they didn't know
how to cook with marijuana at home and most said they did not consider
it a healthy ingredient.

Charlebois said that apparent confusion over what to do with the
products should compel the federal government to introduce a framework
around the consumption of edibles when legalization proceeds with the
Cannabis Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insists legalizing marijuana will keep
pot out of the hands of children and deny criminals the profits of
backalley dealing.

Ottawa has said it will not allow the purchase of edible products
until it develops regulatory oversight for the goods, including rules
on serving sizes and potency, child-resistant packaging requirements
and health warnings.

But, Charlebois says that once marijuana becomes legal it will likely
be mixed into a variety of products before Ottawa comes up with such

"We should think about rolling out edibles as soon as possible with
clear guidelines for the industry," he said in an interview.

"Right now, provinces are being absolutely hyper-conservative around
the distribution of the commodity instead of thinking about the
applications of the commodity at the retail level, like at restaurants
and food services."
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MAP posted-by: Matt