Pubdate: Tue, 19 Dec 2017
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network
Author: Gordon Kent
Page: A9


Most Albertans support the provincial government's proposed
regulations for legalized marijuana, according to a new Insights West

Almost two-thirds of respondents to the online poll agree with the
decision to prevent pot stores from selling alcohol, tobacco or
pharmaceuticals, while 77 per cent favour setting 18 as the legal age
for buying marijuana.

While 60 per cent of Albertans support legalization, up five
percentage points since a national poll done in October 2016, the poll
found a split along party lines.

The move is backed by 71 per cent of NDP voters in the 2015 provincial
election, but opposed by almost 60 per cent of Wildrose and
Conservative voters.

There's also a difference in responses based on age. Legalization,
scheduled to take effect July 1, is supported by 85 per cent of
Albertans aged 18 to 34, but that approval drops to 54 per cent of
people aged 34 to 54 and 45 per cent of people over 55. There's little
support for legalizing other street drugs such as ecstasy, heroin,
cocaine, crystal meth and fentanyl, which is opposed by more than 85
per cent of respondents.

"To see the level of support for the policies the government put
forward would certainly indicate the government has struck the right
tone," Mario Canseco, vicepresident of public affairs for B.C.based
Insights West, said Monday.

"The level of support for legalization isn't as high as it is here (70
per cent) … It has to do with the way British Columbians have been
exposed to this. We have a lot of places that sell marijuana."

The difference of opinion on legalization between New Democrat voters
and people who backed more conservative parties could be important
with a provincial election due by spring 2019, but the United
Conservative Party might not want to jump on the issue yet, Canseco

"It will depend on the kind of framework we have and how it rolls out
in the first couple of months … It's too early for the United
Conservatives to say, 'We don't like this.' It would be wiser for them
to wait."

The results are based on a survey of 704 adult Albertans done between
Nov. 28 and Dec. 2. The poll is considered accurate within 3.7
percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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MAP posted-by: Matt